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NLP for Project Managers

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Peter speaks at the APM Rethinking Leader conference. This guest post is by Peter Parkes (author of NLP For Project Managers).
Recently, I had to leave a project. To help me identify the root cause of my decision, I used NLP.
I also learned some lessons about leadership styles for project management.
History of NLP
NLP grew out of therapy language patterns. Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, was one of the contributors to NLP.
We can organize events along a timeline, but we also tend to group events by association, which is sometimes lost from our conscious minds.
We are often not reacting to the latest event but the history of events or cumulative learning. Ever find yourself reacting too strongly to a situation?
Although the emotion may still be fresh, it can be used to identify the initiating event. Tad James’ Time-line technique allowed me to examine the initiating event in this setting without emotion.
I will not get into the emotional responses, but I will share some lessons from leadership styles and behaviors that I believe are the root cause.
The project
It was a background assignment on performance management through behavioral changes.
A group of highly skilled consultants with extensive experience in change management, behavioral changes, performance management, facilitation and blended learning was assembled.
The client was smart, clear about their goals, and had beautiful behavior. It was a pleasure to work with. The contract was awarded at a fixed price and the lead consultant took on the role of project manager.
Leadership styles
According to general management theory, leadership styles can be divided into six types.
Daniel Goleman, author Emotional Intelligence & Primal Leadership, describes these four styles as’resonant’. They build energy and capability within the team.
The directive style, also known as authoritative’ and ‘command’ is suitable for chaotic or turn-around situations. However, it is one of two discordant styles. It can reduce the group’s ability and energy over time.
Why would you think that this would happen?
I felt discordant with the project team that I left. The products of the team were not more than the sum of their parts.
Given the resources available, which style would you have chosen?
Consider Followership
Peter’s book Understanding the events and the situations will help you to apply the right leadership style.
But, leaders can’t exist without followers. In the Oxford series Leadership Keith Grint focuses on followership. This is particularly relevant in situations that don’t have formal hierarchy.
He asks, “Why would someone want you to follow them?”
According to a survey by the Chartered Management Institute, most managers rated themselves as having a coaching style while most employees rated their managers as being directive. What would your team describe you as?
Do you know how to express yourself?
About the authorPeter Parker, FAPM is the author of NLP For Project Managers and the Director of Peak Performance, a consultancy firm. He is a Master NLP Practitioner and a mentor. He offers NLP training courses to address the lack of competence-based training for project managers. This course aims to balance the popularity and value of training in process and method. NLP for Project Managers