The Best TeacherMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
Working with your preferred kind of Line Manager or Customer is, most often, not your choice. To survive and grow professionally, you have to learn to work with every kind of personality. You might be familiar with the phrase; “No Pain, No Gain’. It is applicable in this discussion as well. The best teacher is the toughest Line Manager or Customer you have worked with.
In my professional career, every Line Manager or Customer, termed as tough/strict, proved to be the source of some good learning for me. Most professionals will agree with me that whenever a Project Manager experiences such a situation, he/she always wishes it to end and avoid working with that person. At the same time if you are asked to select which persona you would like to adopt, then your preference is always to be like that Line Manager or customer who you tend to rate as the toughest one.
The reason is that the tough manager or customer is always challenging you and it is a fact that you only learn new things and grow in stature if you work out of your “comfort zone”. The challenges you get from such people will consistently make you work hard and discover your abilities which you might not have known to you otherwise. Once having such interaction, you are always working to the best of your abilities and concentration and gradually this becomes a habit.
For me, always working in a “comfort zone” or with people who are not challenging you is something to worry about. Tough people are more vocal and open so the feedback is more frequently shared from both sides in a more elaborated manner. Similarly there are no surprises with such people so you really don’t have to keep guessing about things.
One thing is important is that once you are able to achieve targets successfully with any kind of manager or customer. You not only have learned a lot but also get an extended level of sense of achievement. For the rest of your career, you frequently refer to those people and your success because those prove the real difference in your professional career.