Because team member opinions vary regarding the technical approach, structure, content, and outcome of the project, project managers may spend much more time communicating with team members than doing any another type of work in the project. The key to achieving collective action and creating a sense of belonging among team members is to engage them in playing an active role throughout the project process.
- Listen and probe with objective, reflective, and interpretive questions; paraphrase for clarity.
- Establish mutual agreement on the issue/opportunity.
- Collaborate to identify a solution.
- Determine the steps needed to implement the solution.
It’s been said that people own what they help to create, and that means actively engaging team members at regular intervals to provide input and perspective. Consensus won’t always be achieved, but if these steps are observed, a project team culture of belonging will be felt within the team and visible to project stakeholders.