Friday, 7 December 2012

A Passive/Aggressive Project Manager – How to deal with the Nightmare – Part 1


A Passive/Aggressive Project Manager – How to deal with the Nightmare – Part 1

You may not have been there yet (operative word “yet”), however soon or later you will be forced to work with a Passive/Aggressive Project Manager.

First you need to be able to spot passive/aggressive behaviour.  Here are some signs which should start flagging up when you are the intended “victim”.

1.     1.  Vagueness about being able to deliver and ambiguity as to their role.  This includes the inability to commit to a plan, or even a deadline to produce a plan to deliver the project plan.
a.      “I can’t deliver my plan because Person X has not produced their plan.”
b.      “I can’t put any milestones in my plan until the requirements have been signed off.”
2.      2. Endless delays – you know the feeling, one week gets delayed until two, then it’s a month and before you know it, even producing the plan is three months behind.
3.      3. Constantly changing demands or withholding information.  Been there, done that!  A passive aggressive manager will constantly change what he wants for meetings – often letting you know 5 minutes before a meeting what is needed.  Aligned with this is the instruction to print “XX” copies for a meeting starting in 3 minutes.
4.      4. Taking over meetings and subverting the purpose.  Passive/aggressive project managers will rail road a discussion into a series of complicated problems with no solution or continually trying to move the focus onto someone who has not delivered.
5.      5. “Pow wows” which become nothing more than complaint sessions.  This is particularly important when you haven’t been invited to the party as there is no way to influence the focus of the meeting.
6.      6. Non-communication – refusing to meet to review progress, continually putting off meetings to make decisions required to move forward…

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