When a project manager strives to help members of a project team share objectives and participate cooperatively and creatively in achieving these objectives, he or she is practicing IPM leadership.
To put this principle into practice, the project manager first must consider the situation of the people on the project team: They are typically workers who have special skills and expertise needed for the project, and have been assigned temporarily or part-time to the project. Each team member reports to a supervisor or resource manager and also has work assigned by that boss. In addition, some members may be working on other projects. Consequently, it is not surprising that many of these individuals feel they are already overscheduled yet, they are essential to the project team. They must attend several team meetings, arriving prepared to share and consolidate information about the durations, resources, and risks of the project task! Most of these workers are competent and intrinsically motivated to do a good job, but they can easily achieve job satisfaction by working at their other jobs and giving only scant attention to the project. Therefore, to ensure their full participation, the project manager is forced to treat them as volunteers! What this means is unlike regular employees who can be expected to do to do their job, volunteers must be "persuaded" to do their job. This "persuasion" requires the use of several motivation techniques that are explained in the next section of this chapter. These techniques can be implemented only in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect between the project manager and team.
Because trust is based largely on credibility, a project manager must strive to be truthful in all communications with the team members. Thus, lies of any kind are out. Information concerning the organization associated with the project and the technology required for the project must be shared honestly. Under no circumstances should the project manager heap praise on a team member in order to manipulate that person, nor should the project manager take credit for the work of others.
The surest way to gain the respect of any employee is to demonstrate that the person is valued for the skills and dedication that they bring to the job. Listening to a team member's suggestions and offering feedback provides solid assurance of that person's value, as does showing sensitivity to their feelings. This is especially important if it becomes necessary for the project manager to offer criticism, which should be only constructive criticism and conducted in private on that person's turf. The best way for a project manager to implement this principle, however, is to admit that his or her understanding of the technical areas of the project is not expert which is usually the case and to defer to those workers who are the experts.