PM Therapy

Welcome to Therapy for Project Managers

by Nicole Pletka

I use my experience to coach a few select people with drive, talent, and passion on what it takes to be a great Project Manager. I often remind them (and myself) that this career is supposed to be hard. Finding the work difficult reminds us that we are probably doing something right. If it feels easy, we probably aren’t pushing ourselves hard enough. If we feel damaged, we are probably pushing ourselves too hard. It’s ok to need help with finding the right balance and it’s ok to need help getting up from a bad fall. I share our conversations and my advice on this site.

I’ve been a Project Manager in the Technology sector since 2005. Prior to that I worked in Cultural Resources Management, acting as a PM for archeological compliance work. My Masters research led me into technology and I have never looked back. Humans are more complex than any computer system, so I find my anthropology background quite helpful. To learn more about me, checked out my LinkedIn profile – Send me a message on LinkedIn if there are any topics for which you would like my opinion.

Communication Strategies

In an early post, I wrote that stuff worth doing is hard. The inevitable side effect of doing something hard, is pain.  Sometimes the pain is good, like soreness after a workout that lets you know you’re getting stronger. Sometimes the pain is bad, like an injury that will set you back. When it comes to…

Vacation ready?

It seems every few weeks someone posts a boss vs. leader poster on LinkedIn or Facebook. They are all pretty similar; bosses depend on authority, inspire fear, place blame, take credit, give commands while leaders depend on goodwill, generate enthusiasm, fix problems, give credit, and ask questions. Basically, bosses are the wicked witches and leaders…

Be Careful Counting Years of Experience

One of my favorite gigs was working as a Project Manager for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It was the perfect blend of my love for the environment and my talent for managing software development. I was the liaison between the Information Technology Department and the Wildlife Division. I managed several projects to turn…

A Kind Contrarian

It is not uncommon that a little event really gets under my skin. I stew on it and talk to some friends until I find the reason why. Typically, one of my core values has been violated. In this case, I was doing phone screen interviews and several candidates were just, plain rude. Why? Because…

The Handshake

Recently it came to my attention that people may no longer want to shake hands as a way of greeting new people. I didn’t realize how important beginning new business relationships with the perfect handshake was until I thought about this trend. At first, I blew off the decline of the handshake as no big…

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