As part of our exploration of the #HumanFirst side of change, we talked to one of our Accredited Wellingtone PMO Practitioner graduates about how what he learned during the course can be practically applied to the real world whether you are a Project Management or PMO professional. 

Paul Sculthorpe started off discussing the Dunning-Kruger effect and how it can impact our level of confidence, in that the level of confidence tends to be at its highest when we have a low level of competence. 

This happens because we do not know what we do not know, and we suffer from cognitive bias. 

Cognitive bias happens to everyone, we judge based on an unconscious trigger and are often unaware of the cause or effect. This cognitive bias enables us to believe that we are better than others when we have little knowledge of the subject itself; and at the other end of the scale, those with many years of knowledge and expertise, doubt themselves because they believe that there is always someone else more knowledgeable. 

It is important to understand these concepts when our roles or teams are being questioned by those that do not appear to ‘get’ it. Often, we find that those challenging the justification for PMO or Project Management do not have enough experience in the discipline to provide a truly informed view. 

In terms of being able to handle these conversations, it is important to: 

  • Consider doing a perceptual positions exercise (watch the video for how to begin) as it provides you with a new perspective to see things from another person’s point of view 
  • Build awareness of the subject with those you are needed to engage and do not assume just because you know, they know 
  • Be humble and ask for opinion and feedback on what it is you are developing or trying to ‘sell’ 

Acknowledging that everyone has their own ‘truth’ is key to building strong and meaningful relationships that provide long term value through partnerships. 

Watch the companion webinar

Often, PPM and PMO people struggle to manage difficult conversations, particularly when it comes to their own role. With practical tools and techniques, this webinar will set you up with the confidence you need to face things head-on.

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Monthly Newsletter

By: Emma Arnaz-Pemberton

Emma Arnaz-Pemberton
Consulting Director FAPM, MCMI, MPMI, MIoD PMO-CC, MoR, MSP, PRINCE2

Published: 24 November 2020

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