Three Reasons Why Knock Down, Drag Out Fights are Good for Your Project

There are two types of meetings that you will typically be involved in as a PMP Project Manager.

The first is the “plain vanilla” type meeting where there are no issues, no confrontation, and no conflict. Everything seems to be just going fine and there are no problems to report. You would be misleading yourself if you are at the beginning of a project and believe this to be an accurate assessment of how things are really going, however.

The second type of meeting is more along the lines of a “knock-down, drag-out” discussion. Voices may be raised, disagreements surface, and people’s feelings may even be hurt. These are much more challenging meetings to conduct but ultimately more productive for the following three reasons:

  1. It means that you have a group of people that cares enough to bring issues up early and often. It shows they care enough about the project despite the fact that it may lead to a certain level of confrontation with their peers.
  2. It means that risks or issues are going to be raised that others may not have even thought of or be aware of. If they are raised early enough then these can be resolved and no longer be a risk or issue for the project.
  3. It means that there is a lot of energy to propel the project forward. As a Project Manager you need to manage this energy and channel it in the right direction. This will help the project remain on track.

Are “plain vanilla” meetings low stress? Yes, they are in the short term. However, I’d rather have a “knock-down, drag-out” meeting where issues are uncovered and resolved because it is only a matter of time when this confrontation will surface later when there is nothing you can do about it.

What are your thoughts? Do you think meetings with a proper degree of confrontation and disagreement is healthy for your project? What are some of the things you do to manage this level of necessary stress?


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