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A lot of what you saw in America and you see overseas is, “I want a change.” They want a wrecking ball brought to these governments. A lot of us are sympathetic with that. We want to see something different. We want things to be better. Ultimately, you have to have facts, analysis, and real detail to make that happen. Populism itself could destroy things. Just keep in mind about Europe: Since World War II, they’ve had peace. They didn’t have peace for the 2,000 years before that. So there are benefits people are reaping. Maybe they’ve forgotten about it. It’s important to have peace in Europe, too. Debrief. Bloomberg Businessweek, December 26, 2016.

One way to keep peace during disagreements, I’ve found, is to remind people how far we’ve actually come. This usually requires a broader perspective especially of our team’s project or company history. We don’t want to minimize the current issues we are up against but I like to remind people that others in our situation had it just as bad and they had then moved things forward in a positive way.

Steve Jobs reputedly said that all he wanted to do was put a dent in the universe. Billy Joel’s song lyrics repeated “We didn’t start the fire. No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it.“ I like to say I’ve contributed my 2 cents to the universe and I find myself pretty content with that. We do the best we can when we have the stage and that is all anyone can do. Ensuring we listened hard to everyone and understood their positions did more to move us forward to success than any special project management tool or methodology.

For more, see The Ultimate Project Management Tool

What are you doing to help your team stay positive and move forward even when things don’t seem to be going very well with your project?

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