Category Archives: Project Management

Relationship Management – Compare and Contrast

Busily 'clipping' articles I found interesting, an article on managing contacts from last year caused a pause. As project leaders, especially in this environment, it can be easy to fall back on a communications plan. But is that a really human way to manage expectations and relationships? What is your favourite way to keep the 'relations' in 'relationship management' lively, connective and useful?


An article on supporting employees coping with grief was published in Jan 2020. No one could have predicted the need for understanding these concepts would be so valuable and on such a scale so soon.

The broad scale of loss is becoming painfully evident.  Loss of those who have succumbed to the C-19, loss of a sense of safety, loss of workplace and team identity, and loss of an understanding how our world works.

As team leader, you can help. Here are a few key points:

  1. No one deals with grieving in exactly the same way. Our personal frame of reference can get in our way, if we let it. Each of us recovers our new level of equilibrium in different rhythms. That rhythm might include circling back. That’s okay. That’s human.
  2. ‘Let’s help!’ Perhaps, yet perhaps not now. Loss is intensively personal. Who and what we grieve for can’t always be understood by others. A suggestion: Let them know you are there, ask them about specific tasks that are due and whether or not they would prefer to set up a temporary task share. Acknowledge their grieving, let them guide the pace and topic of any further chats.

Your  team’s culture can support the members if that culture continues to be carefully tended – perhaps even deepened. What suggestions will you share about how you can lead the way?



Lessons in Social Media… What 7 weeks of double pneumonia taught me

Category : Project Management

After a short trip to Guam, my occasional walking pneumonia morphed into double pneumonia.

Let’s get the important bit out of the way. I tested for both C-19 and the antibodies – negative all ‘round. Who thought I’d be grateful for ‘just’ pneumonia?

7 weeks of bed, loads of liquids and meds to deal with the various symptoms. At times hours, even a day, when I felt less dead followed by a nasty relapse.

Social media? Not a priority. But for some folks, it is the only way they communicate. So, for a few minutes 1 or 2 times/day I would catch up on what some of my friends were doing.

Barely anyone even noticed I was gone. Humbling and instructive.

Lesson 1: if you hadn’t figured it out, each of us is just a few bits of humanity in this strange and wonderful existence.

Lesson 2: a simplifying clarity comes when you limit the time you spend in social media – even when it’s part of your business.

Lesson 3: people who truly care about you will keep up with you and inquire about you even with your schedule that included 15-18 hours of sleep a day.

Lesson 4: it isn’t not ‘real’ and it does matter. Post what you will. Your posts are not the sum of who you are. It will, however, be online forever and possibly have influence you don’t even know about.

What do you want to be your online identity?


Category : Project Management

But It Doesn’t Really Matter to YOU

But it doesn’t really matter to YOU – is what I often hear when the topic of race comes up.

It is when suddenly the other person realizes that I am not a member of the dominant society in the US.

I am a 4th generation Japanese American, 4th generation Californian living in the Midwest since 2015. Like so many, life has been a constant lesson in learning cultures, learning to bridge cultures. I've held on to some of what my grandparents gave me and, sadly, sacrificed too much of what they tried to give me because of my drive to be ‘part of’. I heard a 2014 TEDx talk titled ‘What I am Learning From My White Grandchildren’. Anthony Peterson posits that rather than the thought that race is real and it doesn’t matter, race is not real and it does matter. Race is a part of us but is not the only thing that makes each of us who we are, how competent we are, how caring we are. That is how it is not real. What makes it matter is when it is the single factor that drives how people choose to treat each of us and promote – whether socially, professionally or personally – each of us.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself ‘how many other ways might this be a valid perspective?’

I ask that you consider this: There is no one for whom it DOESN’T matter. Diminishing any of us diminishes all of us.

Here is the link to Mr. Peterson’s talk:

Video Access Fatigue

Month 2 of video chats, video conferences, video lessons (giving and getting), and video meetings is beginning here in Illinois.  As time goes on, I see two approaches developing.  There are some who are drawing firmer boundaries on their availability and some who view these times as an opportunity to break the boundaries of time. This is an enterprising, ambitious and a take-the-opportunity-silver-lining kind of approach. Here’s the silver lining’s sharp edge: breaking the boundaries of time zones is all well and good  right up until the time zone boundaries being broken run smack into the availability boundaries your colleagues and team members have established.  What you choose to do at that point can be a critical element of your relationship with that individual, that professional, for the foreseeable future. How are you demonstrating respect for the approaches of others you work with? However it is, it will give them a strong indicator of how you value them as individuals.

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