At the start of this particular project I had done my best to get the members to visualise what we were trying to achieve and the journey we were embarking on. Most of them got it and all enthused about their participation and so we had begun on the activities I had planned. This one individual appeared to be as keen as the rest and appeared to knuckle down to their particular task but seemed very quiet when I asked for their feedback on progress. I noticed from my project management software that this persons progress reports were patchy, did not seem to provide much information and was not asking questions which I would have expected considering the task they were undertaking.
It being necessary that this person kept pace with the rest of us I hopped into my car and drove over to see them for a 1-2-1 chat. It transpired that they were frightened of admitting they did not understand the project fully, their role within it or the detail of the task they were trying to get done. “Everyone else did and I didn’t want to appear stupid”.
I reassured them that they were far from stupid and then gently tried to explain why sticking their head in the sand and hoping no-one would notice their inability to complete the task was a sure fire way for others to notice and perhaps start thinking of them in the light he was trying to avoid. The rest of our meeting was then mentoring him on his section of the project and constantly reminding him that it is better to ask questions when unsure as it shows an enquiring mindset and a wish to succeed.
We all go through a crisis of confidence sometimes but rather than considering this a weakness I would urge that we accept that that is all it is and there is always someone who is more than happy to assist if you ask for help.
- If you’d like any help or advice regarding project management please don’t hesitate to contact me.