The Leadership responsibility
As a leader, the quality of the workplace you create is one of your responsibilities. It is a very important one. It is first a human responsibility. We are in 2016. Some behavior should not be accepted. The passive approach is to think that we inherit the work environment. The leadership approach is that we can influence it and build a positive work environment. It may not always be easy, but it is the best path.
PMI Code of Ethics
As a project manager, it is also part of our Code of Ethics. The PMI Code of Ethics includes the following four elements:
- Responsibility: Taking ownership for the decisions we make or fail to make, the actions we take or fail to take, and the consequences that result.
- Respect: showing a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us. Resources entrusted to us may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others, and natural or environmental resources.
- Fairness: making decisions and act impartially and objectively. Our conduct must be free from competing self-interest, prejudice, and favoritism.
- Honesty: Understanding the truth and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct.
Benefits of of positive work environment
A positive work environment, which includes respect and fairness, creates trust and confidence. It also creates the best workplace for productivity, creativity, and innovation. All of these are powerful elements of creating values with our projects.
Ultimately, it is also our ability to remain competitive. If others use the power of a positive work environment, they will attract the best, be more productive, innovative, and they will be providing more value to their clients. Make sure bad behaviors and a negative workspace don’t become the norm in your organizational culture. The damages are too big, at all levels, both on humans and productivity.
Behaviors to avoid
Here are some examples of behaviors to avoid:
- blaming others, or worse, enjoying putting blame on others. Better to be focused on learning and solutions
- ignoring the expertise or opinions of others
- taking ownership of the successes of others
- negative comments
- isolating team members
The pressure to achieve results is not a valid excuse to tolerate negative behaviors and a bad working environment. In fact, it is very naive to think that we will achieve more with a negative work environment. In fact, if you accept the opposite, you will be viewed a willing accomplice.
The real power lies in a very positive environment. It is our responsibility as a leader to strive always to build a positive environment. It is in a positive work environment that the best quality product or service is created.
Building a positive work environment
How can you build a positive work environment? First, it is important to say that this must be done in a very genuine and authentic way. It must be communicated in a manner that is real, not as a checklist approach. It is always important to remember that the leader will have to select what is appropriate and will work in his context. It would be too simple if we could just program “positive work environment” and be done. Too simple, but not real.
Still, the positive work environment is a very powerful tool. To inspire project managers in being leaders, here are a few elements to consider:
- Lead by example: be the one who contribute positively to the work environment
- Lead by example: be self-aware and seek out opportunities for personal growth
- Be careful of negative elements in your language
- Beware of multitasking, especially while having a conversation with others
- Value communication in person, and not only by email or any other electronic messages
- Focus on learning, coaching and continuous improvement, not on punishing errors
- encourage the expression of diverse opinions and perspectives
In short, make it an intentional choice. Make it part of the culture of your team.
The ultimate benefit
If you build a positive environment, people will be more engaged, more productive and more creative. The benefits don’t stop there. They will focus more on quality. They will also be more willing to communicate issues and risks to you. This open dialogue is a powerful asset to help you complete successfully your projects.
But ultimately, you will also be proud of your team, the work environment. You be proud of yourself and your legacy.
Michel Dion, PMP, CPA
Founder and Developer of Project-Aria
Discover my book:
Leadership Toolbox for Project Managers: Achieve Better Results in a Dynamic World