Project Management Skills for All: Learn and Lead with a Growth Mindset | Matt Corroboy | Skillshare

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Project Management Skills for All: Learn and Lead with a Growth Mindset

teacher avatar Matt Corroboy, Projects, leadership, life and mindset.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Summary & Project


    • 3.

      What is Growth Mindset?


    • 4.

      Appraisal Time - Know Your Baseline


    • 5.

      Making A Self-Reflection Habit


    • 6.

      Applying Growth Mindset to Projects


    • 7.

      The Project Retrospective


    • 8.

      Risk Management for Growth


    • 9.

      Being Growth Minded


    • 10.

      Stakeholder Feedback


    • 11.

      Leading & Inspiring with Growth


    • 12.

      Wrapping It All Up


    • 13.

      Conclusions & Project Reminder!


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About This Class

This class covers three main topics around Growth Mindset:

(1) Growth Mindset for the Project Manager themselves,

(2) Applying Growth Mindset to a project itself and the project challenges

(3) How to lead by example with a Growth Mindset - encouraging members of the project team to follow

This class will teach you that growth mindset is everything! You'll learn about what Growth Mindset is and how to apply it to both personal and project activities. You'll learn what makes a good project and the questions that you need to ask yourself in order to grow personally. You'll learn how to tackle project challenges by applying concepts to solve problems positively. You'll learn about continuous improvement cycles in projects and the power of the retrospective. Finally you'll learn about leading a project with a growth mindset and the influence that this can have on others, motivating and inspiring teams to both deliver and have growth mindsets themselves.

No prior knowledge will be needed for this class but it will naturally be framed towards those running projects. The skills you'll learn in this class will teach you to think differently. To be retrospective and to learn - ultimately you'll be able to apply these skills to all aspects of life.

Meet Your Teacher

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Matt Corroboy

Projects, leadership, life and mindset.


Hello, I'm Matt Corroboy,

I'm a Software Projects Director in the UK working in the life sciences industry at Waters Corporation and spend my time managing a crack team of amazing project and programme managers spread across the globe.  We fight against the underworld and build amazing software and system solutions that make a difference to the world.  We're very proud of what we do.

In my spare time I write and coach on Project Management, Leadership and mindset.  I'm also author of the greatest book you've never read: 'Life Unlocked', which is aimed at people wanting to get their mind and body into the top 1%.  

It's all a journey... you may as well have fun along the way.

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Matt Corroboy and I'm a Software Project Director at Waters Corporation in the life sciences industry. Now I've been running projects for the last 20 years, including projects sprawling to hundreds of engineers, working on applications and systems for drug discovery, pharmaceutical QC, food and environmental testing, as well as clinical screening. I now lead the software portfolio with an amazing team of project and program managers working for me who every day strive to do great things. Combined as a team, they deliver software and systems for over a $1 billion revenue stream. But as I hire more and grow the team I work with, I find I'm passionate, not just about running projects, but more so about the behaviors around them. Todays class is about growth mindset for project management professionals. This is about having a choice as a project manager as to who you want to be and the effect that your actions will have on the projects that you are part of. This class is about taking your project to the next level by applying growth mindset principles to yourself to be a better project manager, it's about how to build resilience in your projects through continuous improvement. Finally, it's about how to apply a growth mindset to your leadership style so that you can help and motivate teams through the projects that you run. This course is naturally targeted towards project management professionals, but the concepts and principles are true and universal for any type of project, business change, or leadership position. There are three main sections in this class. Firstly, how you should be thinking as a project manager, who you want to be? How can you build and maintain a growth mindset? Secondly, what does a growth mindset mean for projects themselves? How can you apply growth thinking to the work? How do you fuel continuous improvement and growth? Finally, we delve into leadership, leading by example and how by showing that growth mindset, you can inspire, and motivate people and teams every day through your words and actions. Now I love this topic. I think the softer skills of project management are so underrated. You'll find a million courses on project management tactics, which we'll certainly get you along. But the real difference, the real value that will separate the good from the great comes with mindset. This class isn't about tactics. This is about the mind, it's about leadership and growth. This is about being the project flywheel in all that you do. It's about taking you and your projects to the next level. Now let's step away from the tactics and let's get thinking about who we really are. 2. Class Summary & Project: The project for today's class will have you filling in your own workbook, including the activities and checklists to keep you in your project growth-minded. The activities after each lesson will interbuild up your understanding of how to apply growth mindset concepts to your very own day-to-day. Well, let me get you to schedule an impromptu and events here so that you get the right reminder at the right time to apply these concepts. I genuinely believe that successfully running a project isn't all about plans, tracking and governance. That's part of it for sure, but it's a lot more about how you run a project. The attitude you take into your day to day can have a huge bearing on the outcomes. The growth minded approach to failings and lessons learned can turn struggling projects into successes. Your own words and actions too can also influence those around you. This class and the project will have you thinking about your own improvement areas and how you carve out the time to reflect on growth as part of your own routine. Let's get into detail of how this class is broken up into these lessons. As I mentioned in the introduction, there are three sections as part of this class, and the class project will mirror this in the activities you'll be asked to undertake. Section 1 is about you as a project manager. The lesson will cover what having a growth mindset actually means. This will have you setting a vision for the future, you as a project manager. We'll talk about being honest and calibrating yourself against this vision. This is stage one of reflection. We'll have you planning the areas that you need to work on as a result of this. We'll finish this section by talking about the questions and techniques that will build in reflection and continuous improvement for you personally all in the day-to-day. Section 2 is then of applying a growth mindset for projects themselves. We'll look at extremes of fixed versus growth mindset projects and what we'd see in here in each. We'll then talk tactically about the value in retrospectives, risk and issue management, and the canvassing of project feedback. The class project here will have you doing some many assessments for your own project to help identify opportunities for growth. The third and final section of the course is all about leading with a growth mindset. We'll talk about the characteristics of a growth minded leader, what you as a team member would look to see. We'll touch on examples of events where positive leadership is vital and look up patterns in place to address your behavior's key points. We'll then identify the opportunities that you will have to show and represent growth mindset in your day-to-day. The class is sectioned up this way as I believe it's massively important to take care of yourself before you take care of others. If you don't believe or look after your own growth-minded behaviors, then those that you undertake will lack the integrity that they need. You will come across as potentially fake and blindly optimistic. This will then impact the third part of the class around leadership. It's vital that you operate both from your head and your heart when he comes to growth. It has to be pragmatic, it has to be positively real. Some of this only comes from your own self-reflection before that of the project. Before we start, it's important to say that if you want to get value out of this class, then you need to realize that being growth-minded starts with being honest about where you are now. We sometimes paint pictures in classes of the utopian view, the ideal and ultimate project manager or leader. The reality though is that we're all distant from this in some way. The key to success in both this class and your ongoing practice of growth-minded behaviors lies in the honest appraisal of where you are against this. Where is the project, and how am I as a project manager and leader? Without your honest appraisal, then there is nowhere to grow. Now, let's stop talking about what this class contains and jump straight into our first lesson on what having a growth mindset as a project manager really means. 3. What is Growth Mindset? : For those not familiar then let's start this class by talking about what we mean when we say growth mindset. The term growth mindset was popularized in recent years by Dr. Carol Dweck, in her excellent book called Mindset. In the book she outlines how having a growth mindset is all about having a can-do attitude. It's about embracing challenges. It's about being open to your failings, open to critics, and always looking to learn. Ultimately, it's the belief that your intelligence is not fixed. That you're on a journey. You're not perfect, but you can grow reaching ever greater levels of achievement. The opposite of the growth mindset is that of the fixed mindset. The belief that your intelligence and your growth is fixed. That you were born with what you've got. Subsequently you end up avoiding challenges. Are easy to give up and are closed to feedback. You'll be defensive, threatened, and often will blame other people for issues. Both of these traits, the growth and the fixed mindset, depending on where you sit will affect not just yourself and your own thinking, but will naturally then impact the work that you do. As project managers, it will directly impact your approaches, and in your language and actions, it will directly impact how others see you, how they follow you, and how they mirror you. Now, that we've summarized the two extremes, I think it's important to overlay these onto what we may see from a project manager. Here are some brief examples of a fixed minded PM, versus, a growth mindset PM. We can't do that, versus okay, let's understand what we're being asked to do, and what are the business needs. It's not possible, versus let's try figure this out. We're late, here are the problems, versus looks like we're overrunning, here's what we can do, here is what we might need to make this thing happen. Nobody told us about that change, it's not our fault, versus we missed something important, and we've come up with a way to make sure it doesn't happen again. The project is full after issues, after issues, versus we're carrying a lot of risk and working hard to mitigate every day. Not another failing project, versus here's a great opportunity to apply my previous learnings, and make this a success. What feelings do these two types of actions and language evoke in you? Which one inspires a motivates you more? I'm sure we're all familiar with people that will have these traits, but isn't it powerful how just the sentences can create such emotional reactions? We all know projects can be hard. They can be full of challenges, complicated technologies, dependencies, often complex, and unpredictable characters. But this just mirrors life. The language, the thinking, and the actions that both dictate how you react to them. Let's start by taking a look at the class workbook for the first time. If you haven't downloaded it, then please do so now. What I want you to do is pause here and think about not just what your own vision of a growth minded project manager would be, but who do you want to be. In the workbook, this is labeled as Exercise 1. Who do you want to be as a project manager? How do you want to act and behave? The table is split into two headings, one for you personally, and the other for the projects you are managing. Here is an example to start you off. Know how the tense and tone here resetting your future state personally. I choose my words carefully and keep my language positive. The projects; we capture lessons learned on a regular basis and drive actions and improvement around them. Now, have a go yourself at listing this future state. Be creative and try and make this vivid, it's really important to think about ideals here. Pause the video now and spend a good few minutes painting this picture. We've briefly learn what we mean by growth mindset. We've now painted a vivid picture of what you as an ideal project manager look like in this world. The good news, hopefully, is that you already know what this looks like. The concepts here aren't hard, but we often fail, or struggle as human beings as we neglect to do the next stage. The next lesson covers an honest assessment of you against this model. 4. Appraisal Time - Know Your Baseline: Congratulations, you knew all along what the ideal picture looks like of that growth-minded project manager and that leader. We know what they are doing, we know what they are saying, and we understand what we'd see from the projects they are running. Having a strong picture in your mind of where you want to go and who you want to be is essential for growth and for progress. But like any journey, knowing where you are, and what your starting point is, makes the whole process easier. In this lesson, we're going to look at where you're starting point is. Admitting your weaknesses is one of the hardest things in life to do, but it's also one of the most powerful things that you can achieve if you can get there. Not only does it open the door for your continued learning, but it also inspires others, and can show a natural human side that makes you much more approachable, whoever you may be. In your classwork book please take a look at Exercise 2, as you're going to be filling in the spider diagram as we go through the lesson. What we have here are seven questions, along with answers from strongly disagreeing, this isn't me, to yes, this is me, 100%. Strongly agree. I want you to consider the following questions as you fill in the chart. I am a positive project manager who always strives to tackle problems head-on positively, always looking for ways to improve. I'm always communicating clearly on my projects with a positive can-do tone. Whenever we hear issues I'm the first to talk about what we need to do to resolve. I take full accountability for the project concerns. I blame no one. We got this. I've got full visibility of all aspects of the project. Technically, I'm very good at each aspect of managing projects, risk, stakeholders, tracking issues, reporting, etc. I manage my own time very well. For a few minutes, I want you to think about these questions. Take a look at your workbook, and rate yourself against the scale as to how strongly you agree. It's important to be honest here, you're not perfect. No one is. For that to be a journey to a destination, then there has to be distance to move. Pause the video now, and fill in the spider chart. I'll see you in a few minutes. If you've been truly honest here, then what you'll find found when you look at your chart, is something like this. Spider charts are a great visualization tool for this sort of thing as you can immediately see areas where you are strong, along with other areas where you might need work. In my diagram I can see straight away that I'm not communicating enough, and that's an area for me to work on, and I also have work to do on how we're tracking on the project that I'm on. We have issues, so room for improvement there too. Some of this seems to all be due to the fact that time management for me is a struggle at the moment. These are clear and obvious starting points, low-hanging fruit for me to immediately think about actions I may want to make in order to improve. What are yours? Where can you immediately see opportunity in here? As we finish this lesson, I'd like you to pause the video again, and list three or four actions for you to take forward in your workbook. What we're doing here is putting momentum in place for you to grow. In the next video, we'll talk about more long-term sustained activities around continuous improvement that will certainly keep you growth-minded long-term. We'll talk about building good habits. But for now, getting some early wins in and seeing the opportunities, is a great place to start. Pause now, put the actions in place, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. Making A Self-Reflection Habit: I believe there's one activity that's essential, that's fundamental to growth, whether that's personal or part of a project. It's the activity that seeks to be retrospective and to learn from previous experiences. We're going to talk about this in the project sense in a couple of videos time, but this lesson is about being retrospective yourself. It's about self-reflection and building habits to do so. We all get lost in the day-to-day activities of doing our job; days turn into weeks and weeks into years. But through these rinse and repeat cycles, we often run the risk of not allowing ourselves to pause and to reflect, to take a step back to check that our journey is on track or not. This is why it's essential to regularly build in reflection points. I like to schedule these in every two weeks and it doesn't need to take long. I then schedule in a longer and deeper look maybe once a quarter, aiming to be even more expansive. But what would I do in these reflection points? For me, there are five questions that I ask myself, and I'll spend maybe just a few minutes on each one. I'll ask, "What am I missing in my job and therefore need to improve on? What do I need to stop doing? What have I learned about myself in the past couple of weeks? What have I done that has made a difference? I'm I tackling the day to day with energy and the right level of can-do attitude?" The fact that I asked these questions to myself, even without setting hard and fast actions at times, keeps me focused and on a continuous improvement drive. Then, at the wider interval, let's say quarterly, I'll incorporate bigger questions around my overall learnings, my ability to do my job, and my career, and the personal development. This will also be a wider step back overall on the projects that I'm accountable for. Let's take a look at these for yourself. I'm going to ask you to pause the video in a second and take a look at exercise 3 in the workbook. I want you to just spend a couple of minutes on each question. Again, be honest with yourself. This is about you and you only. Notice that I'm not going to ask you to action every single thing here. You certainly can, but I think just mentally listing and then writing down the answers for each is often enough to set subconscious action that you'll work on without prompt. Pause now, and I'll see you in a few minutes. If you managed to go through that, then well done. Maybe it was uncomfortable for you or maybe not, but what you'll find over time is that it can be incredibly cathartic with a weight being lifted off your shoulders, just being honest, just by putting down things in words. The next step here is to make this habit by scheduling it in. I want you to finish this video by doing just start, a calendar entry every two weeks, 20 minutes. Lock it in your calendar and commit to adhere to this time as sacred. It can be too easy to just skip these sessions. Now, similar to meditating, you ideally want there to be no distractions. Talk to yourself, out loud if need be; who am I? Where am I going? What do I need to do? This is more than just you, this is you as a person. If you make this habit, then no matter what you do in life, you'll always be on a growth trajectory. As project managers, we're often accountable for the successful navigation of complicated projects with complicated technologies and complicated people. But it's hard to ask that we manage all of these aspects successfully if we're not able to grow ourselves. That's why we focused on a growth mindset for you as a project manager first. But now we look to apply those concepts in the second section of this class, to the project itself. What does a growth mindset project look like? Let's see in the next lesson. 6. Applying Growth Mindset to Projects: Moving on from the previous lessons which focused on you being growth-minded personally and as a project manager, we're now going to flip to talk about what a fixed and growth mindset project might look like and outline the differences between the two. Let's just imagine that fixed mindset project first. Let's paint a vivid picture. There are issues and fires to be put out all the time. It's never the project's fault. The stakeholders are unhappy. The quality and outcomes are poor, the reporting is vague. Big slippages are announced the last minute and it's all management's fault. Finger-pointing, lack of coordination, no escalations, and poor relationships in and out of the teams. Doomed for failure, and nothing ever goes right. Switch this now to a project you may describe as being growth-minded. Visibility of progress is clear, reporting impeccable, stakeholders are happy and fully engaged. Risks are managed and issues are rare. The team are motivated. When milestones are missed lessons are learned, and improvements measured. Ownership, coordination, communication with teams and individuals, looking out for each other all for the greater good, success is inevitable. You make your own luck. It's often funny that when we take a step back and think about these images, these characteristics, that it all seems like common sense, it all seems obvious. Before we take this class into four specific activities that I want to talk about around growth, I do want you to think a little bit about your own project and where the opportunities for project growth might be. What activities, events, or even meetings already exist that give you the vehicle to tick some of those boxes in that successful project we just talked about? Pause the video for a minute or two now. Go to exercise 4 in the workbook and jot down some ideas of where these activities may already be. Hopefully, they're similar to what we did when we talked about you as an individual. We've managed to already set a bit of a vision of how your own projects right now could be the vehicle for further improvements, further opportunity, and the compounding of that growth mindset. But I wanted to talk about four somewhat tactical activities on a project that when undertaken to the right level, with the right mindset will help you deliver on that successful positive opportunistic project that people want to work on. In the next four lessons, we're going to go into detail on the following growth mindset activities for a project. First is the project retrospective. Whether your pure Agile, following Scrum, Waterfall are managing projects relatively ad hoc, then the project retro is vital. This is for continuous improvement. The second is risk management to make sure we're always being on the front foot. The third is issue management, looking at how we react on a project to challenges as they arise. Finally, we're going to talk about gathering feedback to get that outside in view that will give clarity on where the project is and where it needs to improve. If we think about these four, then simply put, we're talking about looking at ourselves as a project, positively mitigating the risks, and dealing positively with problems. Then we're looking outside for feedback to ensure we're not missing a different view. Do all of these with our own positive mind, and we're now talking about the right type of project. Remember, it's easy to get lost when we talk about project management tactics by saying, "Well, that doesn't apply to my project," or "My project is only small, so it doesn't need that." But when we talk about some of these things, they can always just be a light touch. There's always the right application of scale for the work you are doing. The most successful projects that I've experienced are being projects that overall have been inclusive activities with stakeholders where lessons are learned and challenges and risks are shared and understood, all with the goal in mind. The shared ownership and transparency have acted to make the projects bulletproof to being derailed. The projects that refuse to budge, that sweep challenges under the rug and hide from fear of budget changes, those are the projects that tend to suffer most. Be agile, be nimble, and positively ready to adapt. But let's get into that as we tackle the number 1 activity for growth on any project; it's the project retrospective, and we'll deal with that in the next lesson. 7. The Project Retrospective: There are a couple of superpower activities that exist in project management, which on their own, acts as a force multiplier, that can bring so much value if done properly. The first of these is the project retrospective, it's growth mindset at its purest. Now, we're not talking about end of project wrap up and capturing of lessons learned. That exists for sure, but this is about being retrospective, periodically and ongoing through the course of the project, it's above the project team, when looking at the time you spent, asking themselves questions about how it's gone, what's working, what's not, and what might need to change. I believe that the project retrospective is critical no matter the size of the project. The intent here is to bring a group of people together, which depending on the size of the project, could be the entire project team or maybe a core group that you work with regularly, and to then ask some key reflective questions on the project. Important to know, though, in order for the retrospective to work in the long run, then two things need to be true. Firstly, that it's a safe environment. Those people present in the retro should be able to say what they feel without any fear of retribution or comeback on what is said, you as a PM need to set the scene and culture for that. Secondly, you must, as a group, follow up on actions from the retro. Those attending must feel rewarded by seeing improvement. By doing these two, then the project will feel compelled to look for more ways to improve, to get better, and to deal with challenges openly, honestly, and more productively, all because of the forum you've created. The project retrospective doesn't have to be complex. It should be held periodically to align with the work. I suggest once a fortnight in agile projects, and at least once a month for larger efforts. At its core, there only has to be a few simple questions asked. These can be: in the last period of time, what went well? What didn't go so well? What have we learned? What questions do we still have? There are many variations on these themes, and the Internet is full of some fantastic questions that can be asked. It's often good to change the retro up a little if the answers over time start to get a little dry, but the key here is to pause over each question. Ask the team for their thoughts. This is often done using things like post-it notes, where the answers are independent when gathering all at once and not swayed by group thinking. Be positive. Put actions in place, make change, and dare to experiment. Naturally, it's important to put questions in your retrospective that might be pertinent to the project that you're currently running. What might these be? This is a good time to pause and look at exercise 5 in your workbook. Try and spend five minutes considering what would be good questions for your project retrospective. Pause the video now and jot them down. If you're not being retrospective on your project, then you have no vehicle to improve other than by ad hoc look. Don't wait until the end of the project for lessons learned, be making them through the project. If you don't do them already, then as this lesson ends, please go and schedule in your first project retrospective with the team, set the scene, be positive, make that change. As I've said, if you do one thing on a project to foster growth and continuous improvement, then it's the retrospective. But there's also one project management [inaudible] that, if done properly, has the potential to deliver successfully any project, it's risk management. That's what we'll cover in the next lesson. 8. Risk Management for Growth: In this lesson, we'll talk about risk management as a project management tool for applying foresight, for being prepared around what might go wrong and our project will deal with that. We won't specifically go through risk management protocols there for another class, but rather talk about the concept. We're also going to talk about another secret weapon for helping people think about what might go wrong. It's one of my favorites. If you're not aware of risk management as a concept, then what we're talking about here in the project context is sitting down with the project team and asking what might go wrong, what things could cause issues for this project? The idea is that you have the risk, and then for each risk, you do a bit of analysis. What would the impacts of that risk be? What is the probability that it will happen? From there, so effectively, you are prioritizing risks that you might want to pay attention to. Once you've done this, then you're on to thinking about what measures you might want to implement in order to stop that risk from happening, or at least minimize its probability. Some risk you mitigate, some you accept, and some you transfer to others to own. That risk management in a nutshell. The problem of risk management is that most people just play a risk. They do risk management because that processes them to tick a box. They undertake risk management too infrequently and therefore the value is lost. We also shouldn't confuse risks with issues. A lot of people are too late to the party and raise risks that already happened. These are issues. We have to admit this, a missed opportunity. Risk management shouldn't be viewed as a dole tactical thing. We need to change the optic here. We need to make the what-could-go-wrong conversation a positive one. We have to show value. We have to feel like it's working and that the return investment for the team is yielding results. That smooth and in-control project that we talked about. One of my favorite things to do, especially at the beginning of a project, is something called a pre-mortem. I love this exercise because people often struggle to think about risks when just asked about what could go wrong be included. But re-framing the question as to what did go wrong in a pre-mortem never fails to bring out the creative juices. It's the end of the year and your project has failed miserably in any number of ways. What went wrong? That's the key question. You do this exercise as a brainstorming session with your team and you let people get creative and you try to understand why one of these failings may have happened. Here are some quick examples of what you might find in a pre-mortem. The project missed all its targets maybe due to the fact that we didn't do the right level of analysis, we didn't assess as we went along or take a pragmatic approach at the big picture, our stakeholders hated the product or the outcomes, maybe because we didn't engage with them, we didn't listen to them or ask for feedback, we didn't test assumptions or acceptance throughout the project, nobody knew what was going on, maybe our reports were poor, comes too infrequent, and not sharp enough. As you can see, it's easy when you do this to quickly get carried away, but in each of these statements is actually an action to move forward against, a vow to do things that will aim to ensure that that problem doesn't occur. Now what I want you to do is spend a few minutes thinking about your own project pre-mortem. If you take a look at exercise 6 in the wordbook, the one you'll see are three elements that I want you to go through. The first is listing 10 things that went horribly wrong in your project. The second is quickly jotting down ideas of how you might mitigate some of these events. Finally, I want you to schedule a pre-mortem of your own with your project team. It's never too late in a project to do this, especially if you think your risk management process isn't yielding results. Pause now and spend the time going through these exercises. I hope that got you thinking and you see the benefit of re-framing that risk question. Risk management will keep a lot of problems from impacting your project. You'll keep positively ready for anything. But what happens when problems do occur? How does a project keep growth mind when things start to wobble? That's where growth mindset and issue management combine. All in the next lesson. 9. Being Growth Minded : All projects will encounter issues, challenges along the way that have the potential to derail, to delay, or even kill a project. Now, whereas risk management looks to avoid future issues, issue management is dealing with the now, and could be in the form of a risk that had been realized, or a brand-new challenge that wasn't thought of. Now issues happen all the time, and one of the challenges for a project team is distinguishing between creative work, where problems are naturally to be solved throughout a project versus problems there are unexpected. The letter set are those that we'll talk about in this lesson. This isn't a tactical lesson about raid or issue logs as a document of record, but rather a focus on how the project responds to issues. How we can do this by rephrasing questions and challenges as opportunities, and to show as a project how you can creatively deal with anything. Let's imagine that fixed mindset project when it comes to issues. "Oh, no, another problem, we're all doomed. We're going to be late. How can this have happened? That's it, we're all done for. We're going to get fired. The project will be canned, it's impossible. It's your fault. No, it's yours. Let's ignore it, it might go away." Now interestingly, that latter one is often actually a strategy. Let's not react to the issue, and maybe it won't become a big deal. Sometimes this can work, but often it's a dangerous game to play. How would a growth-mindset project deal with issues? Positively of course. Seeing the issue as an opportunity to solve the problems. Project managers get paid what they do, not to always follow the easy path, but they earn their salary for how they respond to challenges. I want to talk about a few growth-minded concepts here that help project teams deal with issues in the right way. The first is at the beginning of the project. It's healthy during a project kickoff to talk about how the team will respond to issues. To get agreement that together you'll face them head-on and be ready for them, as projects rarely go super smooth. A great tip is then, throughout the project to almost gamify the narrative. Switch the tone around big issues as they come up as if they were end of level big bosses in a video game. Opportunity for the project to level up. All of this to keep the tone positive. Issues encountered six, issues beaten six. But as well as keeping the general tone positive on project challenges, then it's vitally important that whilst in the midst of dealing with a problem that the thought process matches this. As project managers you can play a big part here as frustrations build, by keeping the focus on four simple questions. One, what does this problem mean? Two, what options do we have to address? Three, what are the next steps to move on? Four, what have we learned from this? Ultimately, all problems need to go through this cycle, and as emotions and frustrations rise it's important to keep track to where you are in this question list. Keep focused on the question, be creative on options, look for pros and cons, and proactively move forward. There were all sorts of techniques around issue management, but they all still center around this flow. Now in exercise workbook you'll see exercise seven has these four questions in. I'd like you to pause in a second and just spend a few minutes thinking about an issue or problem that you are currently facing in your project. If possible, pick something that normally would give you an emotional reaction, but instead I want you to keep that rising tide distant, and work through the flow. See that by how taking a logical step through problem-solving, you are more able to keep your head down and focused on making positive strides. Pause now and take a look at that. We naturally want project managers and project team members to care passionately about their projects, but this often means that there is emotion involved and disappointment when things go wrong. It's human nature when we care, but at times like this, it's important to focus on the process of resolving the challenge, rather than the impact it may have had on what was originally planned. The truth is that the best risk management in the world won't guarantee issues don't arise. Issues are almost unavoidable, and projects unfortunately do fail. But you have a choices as a project as to how you respond, and that's the key. In all of this your job as project manager is to keep the discipline here. We talked about retrospective. We talked about risk management, and we talked about positive framing of issues as opportunities. You have growth-mindset control here, but what about those looking in on the project? Those external to the core team, what about their view of the project, and how do we keep growth-minded there? That's all in the next lesson as we look for feedback from our stakeholders. 10. Stakeholder Feedback: Sometimes when you're in the middle of a project, you just can't see the wood from the trees. Getting an external view on the project's health, the progress, the goals, and whether you're delivering on expectations is vital in order to grow. As projects and project managers in our growth mindset world, we've got to be open and listening to other people's perspectives. Perceptions are reality. I have seen projects fail due to being too inward-focused. The engineering is there that's spot-on, but just because a stakeholder group wasn't happy, wasn't included, and wasn't consulted, the outside impression is not as clean. But fortunately, it's relatively easy to correct this, to manage it in a proactive way. That, just by asking for feedback. I'm not going to delve into stakeholder management today, that will be for another class. Instead, I'm just going to focus on a subsection around gathering feedback. Once again, our own expectations as a project team are often set at the beginning of the project kickoff, setting the tone with a project team that we have to manage the views of stakeholders and that we're going to take the gathering of feedback seriously and proactively. Depending on the size of the project, you should focus on two key things here. Number 1, you need to periodically survey your stakeholders for their feedback, and number 2, review what the feedback means and then act on the pieces that make sense. What have you learned as a project? As we've said, the success of a project is often dictated by how the project is perceived. You need to drive as a project to make your customers happy. Asking growth money questions to your stakeholder group is vital to overall growth and even potential realignment of the path you are on. What are the type of growth money questions you should ask? There are naturally some basics you should be asking. Is the project overall meeting your expectations? Are you involved at a level you would like? Is there anything you think needs to be improved? What one thing would make the biggest difference for you? Most stakeholders I've encountered are super happy just to be asked these type of questions throughout the project. It shows that you care, but only if you then follow up with actions that will compound on this. Each project will have specific questions that it might look to ask as stakeholders, maybe something specific about the product or a certain communication. I'd like you to have a think about this. In the project workbook, there is exercise 8. I want you to pause the video now and spend just a few minutes listing what questions you would ask your stakeholders which are pertinent to your project. Do that now and I'll see you in a few minutes. Depending on how big the project is, then you might need to seek feedback using a survey. There are many ways of doing this, but a super easy one which comes for free is to use a Google form. In the workbook, there is a schedule point listed below the exercise to remind you to do this. With just a click of a link, your stakeholders can provide answers to a whole range of question formats, summaries and graphs then come for free, really useful stuff. After the survey, it's really important to sit down with your core project team to review the feedback. Try and understand what it means and what areas you can work on in the next period. Put some actions in place. The final step here is then to communicate back to those surveyed. Tell them about the outcome and let them know what actions you are aiming to work on in the next period. This level of transparency and collaboration is often a game-changer. It also gives you credit to spend when things maybe aren't going too well. You won't have all the answers in a project and you certainly won't be able to see all the angles. Seek help from those that are vested interest in the success. Doing this in a positive way rather than being scared to ask is an emotional stance that set you up for more continued growth for success. But remembering all these, that as growth-minded as you are as a project manager, as growth-minded as the project activities can be, there are other humans involved, humans with their own emotions, their own biases, and their own expectations in mind. This is where we move to the final section of the class, being growth-minded as a leader. This is where we'll talk about the influence that you can have on others every day as a project manager. We'll talk about this in the next lesson. 11. Leading & Inspiring with Growth: This short lesson will compound on the topics discussed around continuous improvement and the growth mindset of a project by talking about you as a leader. In my career, I've met two different types of project manager. I've met the facilitator, who's great at project tactics and bringing people together, and then there's a leader, who not just by title, but on top of that other facilitator, he's able to make things happen as others naturally follow due to the connections they have made. Over time if you're good at what you do, if you can weather the storms, attend to people's concerns, deliver value, then trust and rapport is built up. As a leader this means that people will listen to you and more importantly, with rapport there is often the mirroring of behaviors and actions. As humans we are tribal and it's easy to blame or point fingers at others when things go wrong. Teams will group think, look for the easy path, avoid pressure, and see the rest of the business or the client or the goals as the evil enemy. As a project manager, as a leader, if you open the door to these behaviors, then it can be hard to stop them. We all have bad days. We can all feel vulnerable and it's okay to say so. But only to fuel you, only to lay down the facts in order to find the solutions and the positive path, you have to stay growth minded. People are watching you ready to follow your lead. Now ultimately, you can't rely on a crib sheet or reference list to remind you of what to say and do, you need to make positivity and growth part of who you are right to the core. This might take some of the deep self-reflection from section one, but it will certainly be worth it. This is why this class exists. This is why we start with growth for you. If you made it this far into the class, then you're already armed with a great list of opportunities in the project growth to get better and to learn. But it's worth pausing, knowing what we now know to think about you as a leader in your own environment. What opportunities do you have in your day-to-day to show growth in leadership? That's what exercise nine in your workbook is for. I just want you to spend five minutes thinking about this. Think about your project construct, think about your day-to-day, your interactions, the meetings, the events, the informal comms, and the body language. Think about where you need to pay attention to your behaviors and actions once you finish this class. Pause the video now and make that list. Good project managers are great facilitators but great project managers are great leaders. Lead with positivity, lead with growth in mind, be the force, multiply the lead domino and a catalyst combined. Like it or not, as a project manager all eyes will likely be on you. Think about your actions, your behaviors, and your language. If you only ask yourself one question then make it this, are you keeping up to the vision that you set in section one? Remember, this is who you should be aiming to be. 12. Wrapping It All Up: Let's wrap all of this open, look at the fundamental key takeaways that we've covered today. In this class, we've covered three stages of growth mindset. Firstly, we've looked to what is growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, and how it should apply to you, the individual and the project manager. We looked at setting a vision for you. We've looked to those characteristics and behaviors and [inaudible] , we focused on the most important part of growth, the self-reflection with honesty of where you are and what you need. Also that we can set actions in place on a proactive road toward continuous improvement. The big tip here is not being too hard on yourself. Like I've said earlier, these lessons all sound like a perfect project manager working on the perfect project, but reality isn't like that. This is all about setting a direction, and a vision, and appraising yourself openly about where you are against this. What's working, what's not? Where do I need to improve? Small steps can make big gains. We then moved on to looking at growth mindset as it applies to projects themselves. Once again, we took a look at what fixed mindset project would look like in comparison to that showing the opposite traits. We looked at the techniques, and the tactics that give us focus on growth in a project. We covered risk management, getting ahead of the curve, solving future problems before they happen, and being ready to mitigate if they do. We covered issue management, and how the stunts you take can make a world of difference in how the project responds to challenges. We looked at the project retrospective and the value of having periodic reviews of where the team thinks we need to improve. Gathering feedback from our stakeholders then completed this stage, as we aim to make sure we didn't have any blind spots. The key here being the perceptions are reality, and the customer is always right. In the final lesson, we captured you the project manager, as a natural leader and how your thoughts, your words, your actions, and your behaviors will set the tone for how the team react. If you're good, if you've built trust and rapport with the team, then they will follow. Make sure you're exhibiting those attributes yourself that you would like to see in others. Stay positive, stay growth minded, and do the right thing. Teach others about what it takes to stay this way. To be the best you have to embrace all of these concepts. The parts that are worth more than the whole is you're leveraging good practices with the growth mindset more than just yourself. Individually, we all make mistakes, we all fail, and we all have moments where things aren't quite right. Likewise, projects themselves will have challenges, they will have constraints and technical difficulties that stop the easy path. This is what makes us grow, facing the challenge day to day with a view to find that nugget of information, the insight that will make us better tomorrow. Embrace growth in all that you do. 13. Conclusions & Project Reminder!: Congratulations on making it this far. If you have done, then you really do care about growth in all that you do. It will with no doubt get you where you want to go in life, as well as your professional career as a project manager. Life, project, challenges can all be classed as stress-inducing, but the overall benefit of being growth-minded is that this is all okay. You're on a journey, learning at every step rather than being scared of change and what it all means. Make sure you're open grow yourself individually and as a project manager. Learn from your own mistakes, learn from others, stay positive, and look for improvement opportunities. Apply growth thinking to projects. Focus on the key aspects of risk, issue management, and retrospective, and the stakeholders to ensure you're positively avoiding problems, dealing with problems, continuously improving, and validating this outside in view. Finally, remember, you've been given a gift of leading a project. You will influence people every day in all that you do and say. Let's make sure that influence is a positive one. Before we finish, I'd like you to take one last look at the workbook. There's a file conclusion checklist at the very end which steps through some of the key activities we've undertaken. Make sure you're happy with were we've got to in this class. If you've not completed each activity, then that's fine, but this is just to remind you to go back and get these scheduled in. Quickly pause the video now and take a look. Without trying to sound like a stuck record, its important for me to repeat, don't be too hard on yourself in life. There is no perfect person, project manager, or project. There's always room for improvement and our job here is to embrace that positively. Thanks for listening and taking part in this class as growth mindset is one of my favorite topics. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. Remember, build good habits, stay positive, and keep growing. I'll see you next time.