It's a Project Manager's World Newsletter with Dr. James Brown
      October, 2016 Full Moon Edition      

A Program Manager's Perspective on Recognition

‚Äč(You can watch this newsletter here)

Recognizing individuals and teams is part of the leader's role.  Both individuals and teams need to be recognized.

Recognition is a Two-edged Sword

Recognition has as much or more potential to demotivate and weaken a team as it does to build up a team.

A quick compliment sometimes seems appropriate, but if the wrong person is given the praise, or if the praise is given to one person when multiple people were involved, the praise can hurt the team. Therefore, always praise theteam first. This is especially true for public praise.

Make sure you have done your homework and are complimenting the right person for the right circumstance. Personal praise is best done in private “one-on-one” where there’s little potential for negative impact on the team. Only offer individual praise in a group setting if there is a strategic or compelling reason for doing so.

The program manager should also counsel project managers and other direct reports to always publicly share praise with the team whenever they receive it.

Only a poor or uninformed leader accepts kudos without immediately complimenting his or her team.

Also note that the exact opposite holds true for criticism. Uninformed leaders place blame on their team when receiving criticism, while the strong leader accepts criticism without deflecting it to others, even when it is not his or her fault.

The leader’s role is to build up the team by passing on compliments, and to maintain integrity by accepting all criticism for the team. Both of the aforementioned build loyalty and followership and should be taught to project managers by program managers through words anddeeds.

Tell your project team that as program manager you may receive recognition more frequently. Also tell them that as project managers they may receive special recognition more frequently than the team does. If the recognition is significant and/or lends itself to it, you can turn almost any individual achievement into a team recognition event by having a “Thank you; I couldn’t have done it without you” party. Always try to turn recognition activities into team-building activities.

Copyright 2016 SEBA® Solutions Inc.


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