Ego vs Relationship-Centered

Posted | Category: BRM Community, BRM Philosophy | Contributed

For years I held a client facing role where one of my main concerns was managing C-Suite expectations. Management wanted all the project managers to have the same client interface, so they decided on getting input on a new project plan. We had several staff put logical, easy to implement and use project plans. But there was another that was multi tabbed, circular and confusing.

What I recognized early in this process was that management wanted the reporting to seem ‘impressive’ to the client. The documentation was meant to reinforce how complicated the project was.

This was a very ego-driven desire.

Instead of positioning the project management team as subject matter experts, they would rather make it seem unattainable for the average customer to understand the project anatomy. It made it harder to identify critical milestones and hold people accountable. Perhaps this was also part of the intent because our corporate clients were prone to escalate. It would be easier to shift the blame as needed.

To be proactive, I chose a relationship centric approach.

I created an executive friendly format designed to enhance the client experience. The clarity of the project time frame and the individual staff accountability it conveyed was priceless. It doubled my prep work as I still had an internal project plan to fill out, but I did not mind. The internal project plan was geared toward our staff’s needs and delivered poor client experience.

With in my team, I was the least tenured, the least technical and dare I say, a woman. Despite all of that, I was the most successful handling high touch and escalated clients, fastest to complete projects and held the respect of the sales team. 

I achieved this because I was willing to be accountable for the things I could control and the rest, I would collaborate with the client as one of their team. There was no ego. The client’s success was my success.

Hoarding information to gain the upper hand leads to distrustful business relationships.

In this new era of automation, AI, and the demand for technical expertise, there also needs to be space and acknowledgement of how powerful a relationship centered organization can be. I was just one lone project manager, but my communication skills engendered trust and helped empower each one of my clients.

About the Author

Alice Pryor holds her BRMP certification, is an author and speaker, non-profit champion and holds her project management certification. She is passionate about cultivating relationships and driving impactful results. Her insightful, data-driven problem solving approach offers has been recognized as bringing exceptional results to the business while positively influencing team and organizational culture.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your peers!