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January 24, 2010

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Nice writing, Mike. I too enjoyed the presentation by Right Management last year when I participated in the mentorship program in early '09. Here's another reason why you end up writing about soft skills more than hard skills - because they often can't be gleaned from a book. Not unlike mountaineering, the soft skills and nuances have to be absorbed from mentors and colleagues in your field, and learned from the school of hard knocks. Writing about them here, shedding light on your experiences for less experienced managers, and participating in the PMI-SAC mentorship chapter - kudos to you for mentoring others in so many ways.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for dropping by and the kind words. I have been fortunate to meet some great mentors while doing work for the Agile Alliance and APLN who taught me so much. My biggest obstacle for getting involved in the PMI-SAC Mentorship program was thinking I had enough to offer someone. Thoughts like “I know next to nothing about managing projects outside of IT” and “I still make mistakes, what makes me qualified to advise someone?” nagged me. However, I now realise no one expects you to have all the answers or be perfect, just having access to a second opinion and someone to talk to about goals and career objectives is a huge help. Perhaps if we could make the mentoring program more approachable, and less tapping into gurus, we would get more volunteers. What do you think?

Best regards
Mike

Thanks Mike. Very valuable. Building a team, and watching the team earn trust and respect is far more an art form than a science. Principles like the ones you talk about are signposts on the journey, but everyone's (and every teams) journey to that point is different. Talking to people who have travelled the road successfully makes your journey easier, so thanks for sharing.

Valuable detailed info on people-skills for tangible results.

I must add one thing to the model discussed here: When it comes to "straight talk" -- it must be delivered with basic respect for human differences. Otherwise you do not build the ultimate respect at the top of the model.
"Begin with basic human respect for differences to build deeper team respect." My video footage on respecting personality differences gives you more on what I mean:
http://katenasser.com/kate-nasser-gps-for-personality-types/

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

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