Much has been written about the importance of “soft skills” for a project manager (or any manager for that matter) in developing a team that can work collaboratively and deliver successful projects PMP certification . These soft skills include motivating the team but recently there has been the suggestion that people hate being motivated so should we assumed that all project managers are motivating their team and what does that really mean?
One of the skills that an experienced project manager will often cite as essential is that of being self-motivated – so there is an implicit assumption that project managers are self-motivated but the project team members are not; that they need to be motivated by the project manager.
Yet it is practically impossible to teach a grown adult to be self-motivated – to want to do a good job for their own self-satisfaction and sense of achievement – so what is the benefit of attempting to motivate staff? Does it actually do any good or should we just stop trying to motivate people who are unmotivated and replace them with people who are?
If an already overworked team have been assigned to a project that has an unrealistic deadline and expectations right from the start it is not surprising that they will be feeling pessimistic about the project outcome. In the real world of business deadlines are often set by a marketing team with no reference.