Improving Projects by Communicating What's Below the Surface


We all have coping strategies that work very well for keeping this personal information carefully hidden, contained, and under control. We think—and even are taught—that this is good for our projects. I submit that the opposite is actually more helpful. Try having a conversation with yourself about what is going on below your waterline regarding your project. Tough as it may be, you might try connecting with another project person, sharing information with each other about what's going on below your waterlines. It may feel awkward at first. Only go as far as you feel safe going. Sharing even one feeling, perception, or expectation can be enough to clear up a misunderstanding, break a stalemate, or strengthen a connection. This can be a very rewarding experien—and one that improves your project's chances of success.

About the author

Eileen Strider's picture Eileen Strider

Eileen Strider facilitates project reviews, project retrospectives, and IT organization assessments based on her experience as a developer, software project manager, IT manager, and Chief Information Officer. She occasionally fills in as a temporary CIO. With her partner, Wayne Strider, she leads the annual Strider & Cline Leaders' Forum. See or send email to

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