The phrase “I have an open door policy” was very intriguing to me in my early career. As a younger staff person, I envisioned the day when I could be a supportive, empathetic manager who was able to respond to any of my employees’ needs, questions, and comments whenever they needed me. I envisioned people coming to my door (which was open, of course), asking, “Got a minute?” then me leaving my work, talking with the employee, them thanking me for being such an inspirational manager, then me going back to my work and picking up just like I never left it. Ah, the naiveté.
When I actually became a manager, I shortly thereafter gave my empathetic, “I have an open door policy” speech and was ready to solve problems for anyone who crossed my threshold.
Within a few months of my open door policy, I saw my own productivity drop and my frustration level rise because I kept getting interrupted by people taking me up on my open-door policy. My open-door policy soon turned into a series of random interruptions that caused me to not get my stuff done. I came to recognize that I needed to be accessible to people but that I could control the accessibility through scheduled time. Open-door means be accessible, not come in whenever you want.
So okay, Microsoft Project is a super flexible tool in helping you as a project manager define your project tasks, dependencies, and resources. Quite frankly, though, the workplan you define in MS Project is only as good as the thought that goes into it. Too often I've seen savvy MS Project users completely bungle a project because, while the tool was being used appropriately, the workplan didn't make sense to the project team and didn't reflect what really needed to be done. The team consistently expressed confusion about what needed to be done by when because the project workplan wasn't reflective of the actual work which needed to be done. Great exercise in using MS Project, but poor execution of the project. Blech.
Recently I was asked by a journalist how I practiced public speaking. At this point in my life, getting up in front of an audience is pretty much second nature. However, it wasn't always so. I had to work hard at the skill and had to fail A LOT before I found my schtick and was able to get pretty OK at it.
Here are the highlights from the interview along with six take-aways to help you be a better public speaker.
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