Subjective signals when someone is trying to be protective….

While body language can be a good indicator of someone who is trying to be protective, a person’s unconscious mannerisms aren’t always reliable. So how would you get signals from someone who is trying to be protective when the person is not physically present in front of you (I am referring to email conversation, chatting or even phone conversation), well it’s your job to play detective and put the puzzle pieces together, by using the person’s communication (email, speech, phone calls).

Here is something I have experienced and observed lately:

  • A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.
  • They will use your words to make answer a question.
  • They are uncomfortable facing the questioner.
  • They will often try to avoid direct approach to the issues, and will often try to raise unwanted issues.
  • They avoid “lying” by not making direct statements.
  • They imply answers instead of denying something directly.
  • The guilty person may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you.
  • They are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation, and hence will try and talk non stop (and it definitely will  not be the related issue).
  • They would be ready to pass on the blame to anyone without much hesitation.
  • And the most important….they will always try to cut short the conversation..rather than try and solve the issue.

There is a very thin margin in “person trying to be protective” and “a liar”. If you do it for a beneficial cause, you can refer to it as “trying to be protective” otherwise “a liar” is the right word.

So, what is the importance of all these in project management? Well as a team leader / project manager, you should be keeping your eyes open and looking out for such “Subjects” involved (within your team or Vendor team or even the client team), as allowing such “Subjects” to prosper can:

  • Directly or indirectly affect a project
  • Make or break the team
  • Act as Client /Vendor relationship destroyer
  • Result in the project failure

As a person, such tactics, being a team member or a project manager or a client, should be avoided during project implementations, instead the efforts should be diverted towards a healthy project implementation / completion.

April 17, 2007 · Rahul Desai · No Comments
Posted in: Project Management

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