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As a Project Manager, my success is predicated by how well I fit in and stand out in a social network. In sketching this scenario, I am viewing the social or relational side of a team.

Fact A: In the world around me, attention during a one on one (1:1) conversation is not always 100%. Eye contact may occassionally shift from the individual to the computer (or cell phone or PDA device).
Fact B: Conversations between team members mostly occurs via email, besides voice-enabled (face-to-face, telephone) conversations.

In the prevailing context of A and B (stated above), I am searching for SF techniques for a Project Manager to build greater interpersonal awareness, rapport and presence. These traits are more important than ever during conference calls, which is a vital collaboration enabler for virtual teams that are dispersed in space and time. The desired result is for everyone to feel plugged in so that the project can become a localized energy field of thoughts, emotions and interactions, both during and after the conference call in order to sustain the momentum of value creation during project execution.

We do not want anyone to sense any exclusion or begin to withdraw, looking for slights and convincing himself (herself) that (s)he is on the outside looking in.

Thanks for sharing any food of thought and leading me into SF action.

Ramu

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Hi Ramu,

I experienced the chapters one and three in the book: " Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition) (The Agile Software Development Series) by Alistair Cockburn (Paperback - Oct 29, 2006)" as very helpful for similar concerns as you are interested in!
Please have a look also into this:
Reader Agile Software Development-read only.pdf
HI Ramu - thank you for this fascinating and, I'm sure to many, very pertinent question.

Firstly I'd like to recognise your assertion that your success as Project Manager is connected to your position in relation to others in your social network. This makes a clear statement that your role is to manage the project in conjunction, collaboration and connection with the people in your team - I'm sure that they appreciate this and your efforts to be better connected and create more cohesion - nice one!

I'd like to add the following to your existing insights

1. You are a model for the type of behaviour which will help your project achieve success. This powerful force is further enhanced by your role as Project Manager - this authority is further amplified by your position in the organisation, your status and the formal and informal power attributed to you. To me, that means people will follow what you do, recognising that your behaviour is that of someone who has influence. When your team sees you enacting the kind of inclusive behaviours you would like to see, many if not all will follow.

2. By virtue of your formal role you are able to describe the kind of behaviours you want to see - these may be technical, customer focused, quality control, health and safety etc etc. In this instance it relates to how people are with each other. You may wish to use formal reviews, appraisal meetings etc to highlight the kind of thing that you want to see and hear - you'll know that it's much more useful to focus on what you want from others than not want.

3. Start noticing when your team members are communicating in ways which are getting them (and you) more connected. For example look for exeptions to when there are face to face discussions which are satisfying to you and thank/recognise those involved. Notice when your team are doing what you want them to do and reward them with your attention.

4. Ask what people value about working with colleagues, when communication is at it's best what did people notice. Regularly ask what the team was pleased to notice about the quality of their collaborations, support etc etc. Use such questions regularly in team meetings, coffee breaks - the team will be delighted that you are looking for things that are going well!

5. Create champions by congratulating colleagues who are contributing and adding to your vision of how things can be

Hope that helps Ramu - I'd be really interested in hearing what goes well in the future!

Warm regards

Phil

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