E is for… Ego

Typically, if you’re working in IT as a Project Manager, you will have a group of individuals working for you. More likely you will have responsibility for a team of technical people working for you. Some of the clever ones will maybe even be a little challenging to manage and maybe even to look at. That’s where the ego comes in.

The techie ego is a very precious thing. It’s like a little new born kitten (or puppy if you’re not a cat person). It is looking to you to nurture it and protect it, like a parent. Remember, you are effectively their surrogate parent for a large proportion of their day.

Techies like to think they are the best at their ‘thing’. If you have more than one techie with the same area of expertise, then you’d better hope they get on, and they can work together – you will likely get more than double the productivity – congratulations, you won the lottery!

If they don’t get on, it will go one of two ways: they will be in competition with each other, which will be fine till one ‘wins’ or they will critique everything the other does and nothing will get done. Either way, you’re dead in the water, you wil either lose one of them or spend all your time settling petty squabbles.

So, it pays to be vigilant and massage some ego when required. The best method for this is ‘divide and conquer’, take them aside individually and have a chat about how important they are to the success of the team. If you have competition, split it up quickly, and get them working on different areas, encourage friendly competition by all means, but avoid head-to-head ego battles.

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