Here’s a Concept – Take an Infantile Approach to Project Management

Sometimes in research for my blog posts I get stopped by a headline that makes me want tor read more. Such as this one from the CobaltPM blog that proclaimed, “Run Your Project Like a Baby Would.”

Initially that reminded me of the old joke, “I slept like a baby last night. I wet my bed and cried because I was hungry.” (Nowhere did I say it was a good joke.) Then it got me thinking more of “Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

The CobaltPM blog says you should do these four things to be better a better project manager:

Smile a Lot
Trust People
Do What Feels Right
Show Your Emotions
The simple advice of “Smile a lot” is a good one. As the writer observes, “If you start to smile more often in your projects then you should find that other people around you start doing the same, which has got to be a good thing.”

Smiling can even have benefits beyond the office. According to Dr. Mark Stibich, the longevity expert at, smiling helps the immune system work better. He says, “When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.” A smile has to be less painful than a flu shot (at least for most people) and it helps make your work relationships healthier.

Trusting people is going to take, well, a lot of trust on your part if that’s not your personality. It can be difficult to suddenly put your faith in others. It’s not as ingrain for adults as it is for infants. The CobaltPM blog says, “… you should look to let the people you work with earn your trust. This is a two-way process and if you are open to doing it then you should find that you both benefit from it.”

There is a caveat, though. Let’s say someone does something and loses your trust. Kids are good at giving second chances. Be like a kid in this regard but trust your adult instincts. has a good article on why trust is important in the workplace. Among its findings, teams that trust each other get better results than teams that don’t, according to the HCI study, Building Trust 2013: Workforce Trends Defining High Performance, which was based on a survey of business professionals. also found employees will stay at an organization longer and be more engaged when there is a high degree of trust. “These high trust organizations earn loyalty from all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers, distributors, and investors,” the article said.

“Do what feels right” can make some managers nervous. After all, what feels right to one employee might feel dangerously wrong to an organization. The CobaltPM blog says, “If you have stopped trusting your instincts then it is time to get back to them again and see how it helps. If you still have nagging doubts then look to back up these gut feelings with hard facts as well.”

Dr. Cara Baker, writing at The Huffington Post, says, “Very simply put: We do not trust our instincts. We forget we are hard-wired for well-being and success.” Remember to document when your intuition was right instead of focusing on when it was wrong, she adds. That will make you trust your instinct more.

Finally, the last piece of advice is “Show your emotions.” Now, you may not want to stamp your feet and cry if things don’t go your way. But, the CobaltPM blog says, do show your emotions when things are going right. “It can be easy to get caught up in a tough project so much that you don’t let people see when you are happy with something which has been done and this is definitely something you should think about doing more often,” the blog says.

So, the next time you get upset by a screaming baby on a plane, just remember this. Those little wailers are actually bastions of good advice that could help your project management career go more smoothly.

Lead with Optimism

Project managers are leaders. You’re responsible for leading your team and your project, and to some extent your stakeholders as well. There are many different leadership styles out there, but one of the most effective options for PMs is to lead with optimism. What does that mean and what does it offer? It takes a little explaining to really drill down to the bedrock here, but you’ll learn more below.
Optimism vs. Pessimism
Are you a glass half-empty sort of person? Lots of folks are. In your private life, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, in a leadership position, your pessimism will leach into your team and color their perceptions of the project and even you as the project manager. Even the most optimistic team member will have trouble staying optimistic in the face of a pessimistic leader.
Optimism vs. Aggression
Aggressive management techniques have long been touted as some of the most effective. However, there are a few good reasons to consider ditching your outright or passive aggressive methods for optimism. First, while aggressive management certainly helps you get things done, it can also rub many team members the wrong way. A lot of people dislike abrasive, pushy leaders, and that’s often how you come off if you lead in an aggressive manner.
When Bad Situations Arise
Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll experience a negative situation or two during your project. Hopefully, those are minor and short-lived, but you’ll still need to deal with them. Handling them in an aggressive way might seem like the right move, but it’s not, particularly if you’re being pushy toward team members who are also having to deal with the negative repercussions of the problem. Optimism works better, and it can also help foster a better sense of teamwork and even offer hope to team members downtrodden by whatever negative event happened. Hope is important. Teamwork is vital.
If you’re a negative-style manager (pessimism), you’ll find that your mode of operation here actually makes things worse. Even if you’re trying to correct the situation, your management method will make your team members negative, which makes forward progress difficult, if not impossible. Optimistic management methods, on the other hand, infect your team members with optimism and a sense that anything can be accomplished.
Why Do You Need an Optimistic Team?
Why does having an optimistic team matter? It actually impacts a great deal within your project. A sense of optimism leads to the feeling that your team can do anything, as mentioned. That’s important, because it can be easy to become discouraged if problems mount during your project. Optimism equates to better performance under pressure. In short, your team will be more effective and your project more successful.
Leading with optimism is important, but it can be difficult to do. Take the time to evaluate your management style. Do you let problems and setbacks turn your outlook negative? Do you then transfer that outlook to your team? If so, you might be sabotaging your own success.

An Inside Look at the Importance of a Smile in Sales

If you’re in sales, then you’ve probably heard all sorts of advice, from “don’t oversell” to “focus on solving problems.” However, one of the best pieces of advice that many forget is to smile! After all, your smile is one of the first features people notice about you, and it plays an essential role in the first impression you make. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of a smile in sales (as well as how cosmetic dentistry can help!).

Smile: Your Sale Depends on It!

Knowing your product and knowing your audience are key in sales. However, you don’t get far if your client doesn’t trust you or believe you. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression! Here are a few ways a smile can help:

• Smiling is more powerful than you might think – One study found that smiling has the same effect on our brain as $25,000 in cash!

• Smiling communicates your state of mind – Smiling is a non-verbal cue that you are happy to be where you are, that you are confident in your product, and that you are ready and willing to help.

• Smiling creates a ripple effect of positivity – Have you ever seen a friend yawn and done the same? Or seen someone take a sip of water and immediately realized you’re thirsty? Thanks to the mirroring neurons in our brains, we naturally mimic the behavior of those around us.

But What If You Don’t Like Your Smile?

If you don’t like your smile, don’t worry – that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. Whether you’re struggling with misaligned, misshapen, cracked, or otherwise imperfect teeth, your smile goals aren’t out of reach. The first step? Scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. For both my father and myself, providing high-quality, personalized, and judgment-free dentistry is a passion. There’s truly nothing better than seeing someone walk out of our office with a dazzling, confident smile! So, don’t wait to make your dream smile a reality – it could make all of the difference when it comes to your personal and professional life!