It’s about this first impact that’s most important.
Below are some keypoints :
- Be Original
- Timing plays a role
- Understand the relevance of long and short format
- The power of video and visuals
- Most people can understand
- Having your own style
- Most importantly don’t have a planned approach when you write and let it be just expressions
- No content fits all platforms
- At least try and get one platform to work for you well.
HAPPY WRITING !!
Empathy is one of the most important characteristics to develop as a project manager. The more in tune you are with the needs of your team and your client, and the more effort you put into understanding those needs, the greater chance the project has of being successful. But what does it mean to be empathic?
Rather than responding to problems with a silver lining in a bid to move the project forward on time, real empathy can require taking time to make changes, or simply a face-to-face chat to connect with someone who is struggling, letting them know that you understand.
Being empathic is not the least you can do – it is in fact, the most you can do. It requires a lot of effort, but can make all the difference when it comes to the outcome of your project.
For your clients
Being empathetic to your client’s needs is one of the first rules when it comes to great project management. This isn’t always as straightforward as it seems.
It is important to check in every once in a while and evaluate your relationship with your clients. Project management is a high pressure job. It can be easy to get caught up with deadlines and details and lose the connections you have with the people you are working with.
Feel their frustrations – don’t just acknowledge them
Every client is different, which means that understanding and addressing their unique frustrations is important. If a certain process doesn’t suit your client, don’t launch into an explanation of why your pre-meditated agenda works best. Sometimes, you might have to tweak your workflow or agenda to fit them.
Likewise, you should also communicate with your clients in a way that is comfortable for them. Start off by asking how the client prefers to be contacted. Do they prefer phone, email, Slack? Sending messages via a medium that they struggle to respond in can make them feel uncomfortable from the get-go.
Search for the reasons behind requests
Unexpected requests from a client can be frustrating at times, but you should never take the request at face value. Although it could seem as though that the idea was pulled from thin air, there is often a motivation behind it.
Bear in mind that there are pressures in the client’s workplace that you will never see or fully comprehend. Instead of making a quick judgement, try to get to the root of why they are making a certain request. Sometimes, it won’t mean changing anything about the project, but simply addressing a concern from the client’s team.
For your team
One of the most important aspects of project management is taking care of your internal team. You should be looking out for their best interests and should always remain approachable, should anyone want to discuss an issue with you.
Use empathy to create a fair working environment
Make sure that you understand and adapt projects around different ways of working. For example, maybe there is one person on your team who likes to work on just one or two projects at a time. Someone else on your team might find it difficult to speak with clients directly.
Be aware of these differences and step in as necessary. If you are flexible and empathic, you can create an optimum working environment for everyone on the team.
Don’t let the project become the problem
The way that you conduct projects will have an impact on the working environment your team experiences day to day.
When projects don’t go according to plan, try to refrain from using negative language – and I’m not referring to swearing here. Negative language can actually be a lot more subtle. Be cautious of sarcastic terms such as “our favourite project” creeping into everyday conversation. This can affect your team’s morale more than you may recognise.
You should be able to joke around as a team, especially when it comes to tough times, but as a project manager you need to keep track of the language your team uses on a daily basis. This will help to stop a negative mindset from developing.
After all, when the project becomes synonymous with “the problem”, your team won’t want to work on it anymore.
For your projects
I believe it is also important for project managers to have a sense of empathy for the project itself.
Can a project ever really go “to plan”?
No two projects are exactly alike. Although it is certainly possible (and advisable!) to take learnings from one project and apply them to others, you will never truly know what to expect until you get stuck in.
It can be hard when we are faced with challenges that we didn’t see coming. You can find yourself thinking that the project hasn’t gone to plan. But here’s the catch – you can never truly create a watertight plan for how a project will unfold.
It is the nature of our roles as project managers to develop a full understanding of the project – and this includes the bumps in the road that appear along the way.
Why are you working on the project in the first place?
Ask yourself why the project is important from the outset. This requires more work than simply understanding the client’s business and their customers. Take time to connect to why the project is important, what it achieves for the end users and how it will make a difference.
When challenging times come, remind yourself of the first project meeting and what you really set out to achieve. This should help to bring some clarity beyond the problem and provide context for your current struggles.
Rather than focusing on just getting the project done, remind yourself that you are working on something that will make a real difference to someone!
In summary, being empathic can be a key factor when it comes to developing closer relationships with your clients and your team. And when these relationships flourish, so will your projects.
As an exercise, try to create a list of action points that will help you to develop a more empathetic approach. This could include:
- A weekly or fortnightly call with a client – scrap the agenda and instead focus on catching up and building rapport
- An internal survey for your team, or a suggestion box for how to improve processes
- Write a report for your team on how you dealt with something unexpected during a project, focussing on the positives and the learning experiences that came with it.
At one point in time, almost all of us have faced some sort of rejection.
Whether it was from a school, a company, family, friends, coworkers, or a promotion that you didn’t receive, rejection hurts. However, rejection has a way of teaching and redirecting us to things, people, places, and opportunities that are sometimes better than originally expected.
“Rejection is protection for something greater that is to come”
Rejections mean taking risks. Risks help us to understand more about who we are and where we want to go. More so, risks help us develop the skills to deal with the inevitable adversity life brings.
Find the lesson in the situation. Turn adversity into self-growth and self-exploration.
“You are so much stronger than you think”
According to MRI studies, emotional pain triggers the same pathways in the brain caused by physical pain. This may be why we personalize with the pain of rejection – amplifying and prolonging the sensation.
Rather than identifying with the rejection, or the pain, it can be beneficial to separate what happened to you from who you know that you are.
A helpful way of doing this is by talking to yourself like you would a friend. If your friend got rejected, would you tell them that they were unworthy or undeserving? Probably not. Then why do we talk to ourselves in that way?
Sometimes something good has to be subtracted from our lives before something better can take its place – Ann Spangler
It’s an amazing feeling when someone immediately gets who you are and what you have to offer. Why then do we spend time on those that don’t care, trying to convince them, when there’s someone else who is ready to receive us?
I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat – Sylvester Stallone
Sometimes rejection is just one person’s opinion.
Get a second opinion.
It might have been bad timing – try again.
Or, try again in different ways.
Maybe it was due to lack of knowledge – do more research. Interpret the rejection as an opportunity to learn. Ask questions to uncover as much as you can behind the rejection.
A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success – Bo Bennett
Remember, the most successful people got rejected and failed before they succeeded.
Your time is next – trust the process.
1. The team is a ‘tribe’
“Tribes are about faith – about belief in an idea and in a community. And they are grounded in respect and admiration for the leader of the tribe and for the other members as well.”
The business world is leaning more and more towards this ‘tribe’ mentality. People now don’t just want a ‘job’, but to be part of something bigger, to do work that they really believe in, and to make a positive difference in the world.
2. A Culture of Caring
You know when you walk into the office and someone says “How was your weekend?” These guys actually want to know. And if it was a bit rubbish, they genuinely care and will offer something to help you feel better – a hug, a coffee, a way of reframing your experience, or just the feeling of being heard.
And because we all care, this helps to foster an environment where everyone is always ready to help each other out when needed, which brings me on to…
3. Shared responsibility
This shared responsibility means that we share learnings with each other in situations that may not have gone as we’d hoped, and ensures that we all feel a part of every success we have as a company, regardless of our personal contribution.
Great teams empower you to do great work
If you want high-ticket clients, proposals make or break your business. Learn how to write a winner.
Most of the time, people don’t believe me when I tell them that it’s 100% possible to close 80% (or more) of the deals you write proposals for. Problem is, most people have no idea how to write a winning proposal.
1. Write the words that matter most, write results
When you’re selling consulting services, you’re selling results. Your clients care about 1. how much money you can make for them or 2. how much money you can save them. That’s it.
People argue this with me all the time. They say, but Kartik, what if my coaching service is about building confidence and self-esteem in executives—
To which I reply:
I bet you sell a lot more self-esteem when you correlate it with higher revenue for those exec’s companies.
As much as it may pain some, all business transactions boil down to dollars made or dollars saved. If you’re a consultant, you’re a business selling things to other businesses (business to business or B2B for short).
So, no matter what you sell—at the end of the B2B day, we’re all selling money.
Here’s what winning proposals say
1. How much money your services will make (or save) the client
2. The objectives/tactics you’ll use to get that dollar amount
3. How little your price is in comparison to what you’ll earn (or save) the client
The above are the sections in your new proposal, like this:
- Goals (dollars you’re going to make/save the client)
- Objectives and Tactics (the actions you take to deliver that dollar amount—bonus if this section includes intellectual property of yours)
- Price (how your price compares to the returns of your work = ROI)
2. Always agree on the price before you send the proposal
In a workshop a few months back. I told the room: agree on the price before you send the proposal.
One person cried to me afterward: I know this sounds crazy, but that’s such simple advice, and I feel like an idiot for not doing something so simple.
I empathized deeply because I’d been there. I felt like an idiot when I realized that what was killing my deals was that my prospects were seeing numbers they simply weren’t prepared to see.
Never send a proposal without first agreeing on the price, unless you’re on a mission to get ghosted.
Agree to price in person or via Skype if you can. A phone is second best. Never try to agree on the price in an email. Do it with your voice so that if they object to price, you can negotiate right then and there. You don’t want to risk an email, or proposal, being ghosted.
Step 3. Know the data and be all about the data
You can only help people if you’re tracking metrics and data. Don’t write blind proposals. Either has the prospect share reports and data with you via phone or email or if you can, have a look at their analytics/data yourself.
For example, if you’re a web development consultant, you need to see web traffic details, SEO performance, cart click-through rates, and more.
A question I’m often asked: But what do you do if your client says, “we don’t have any data.”
Answer: Even better. Your proposal then becomes all about helping them collect and harness data to make better decisions/more money.
A question I’m often asked: But what if you sell something that isn’t typically tracked and you’re not even sure that it’s possible to track with data?
Answer. Be innovative and create your own way (intellectual property) to track data. For example, if you’re an executive coach focused on self-esteem, come up with a confidence tracker or mood scorecard, some way to track TANGIBLE results. Then, correlate those results with money.
Step 4. Sell results, not objectives
Let’s say you provide web development services to e-commerce businesses. You need to calculate a dollar amount that your services are worth.
What special abilities do you have (i.e. SEO skills, a/b testing, personalization) that will drive traffic to that website? How much money is that extra traffic worth?
Let’s say you’re going to drive 20k more hits per month with a new site you’re proposing. You’ve had a look at the prospect’s analytics data and you know they currently convert 1% of visitors to buyers. But, you’re confident you can improve that to 10%. You also know that their average purchase is $100.
So, you’re giving this client: 10% x 20k x $100 = $200k per month.
Your proposal should break those numbers down—just like they are above, spell it out. Then, you need to back those results up with case studies, testimonials, and references from happy clients.