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17 May 2012

The appreciation deficit...

The question is: Why are people very quick to accuse others while they are either slow or totally ignore appreciating the contributions of others?

I have put in my papers from my current organization. The other day I went to inform Raghu, my team mate from the previous project, that I am quitting.
Raghu and I had had a disturbing relationship during the project. I was the project manager and he was the lead consultant in the project. Initially he had an attitude problem and I, being the project manager, was forced to handle the same aggressively. As a PM, I believe that, there are two reasons why people do not contribute in a project. One is the attitude problem, the consultant feels arrogant and do not take active steps in the progress of the project. The other is the knowledge problem. This is easy to handle. You have to provide training and monitor the consultant closely.
Raghu had attitude problem.
I escalated the issue within the organization and had Raghu removed from the project. 
Sometime later I had a crisis in the project and the only resource available was Raghu. Reluctantly, I had him back in the project for Raghu-Phase 2. 
Raghu in the new phase was a revelation. His attitude had totally reversed. He suddenly became a significant contributor in the project. Raghu always had knowledge. When his knowledge was coupled with a positive, helpful attitude, the turnaround was remarkable. Raghu could easily resolve any issue given to him. In case he needed help, he was quick to take ownership and ask for support. 
Team was quick to recognize the turnaround. Raghu was very helpful and supportive and in turn the team also started depending on him. Raghu did not complain.
I sent frequent mails to Raghu and his manager about the positive turnaround. All of us were happy. 
The project was also highly successful.
As told above, I went to inform Raghu about my decision to leave the organization.
"Ram, I wanted to tell you all along, you are the best PM that I have worked with. The initial interaction with you opened my eyes. If it were not for you giving me the second chance, I would not have got so much value addition and also would not have got an opportunity to be a part of a successful project. Of course, I resented it when you put pressure on us. But now, in retrospect, I see that the pressure you put was very effective." Raghu was effusive in his praise
"I spoke to Joseph about you. He told me that when it comes to knowledge of customer and their business, you are the best there is. After working with you in this project, I also share the same opinion. You are a remarkable project leader and a human being. The best thing about you is that you are there on the ground with us in helping us out of any trouble that we might face. There are hardly any PMs who have the knowledge and have the attitude to support the consultants", Raghu continued.
Joseph was another consultant who had worked with me in another project. There too I had applied a lot of pressure on Joseph to deliver quality and he came out with flying colours in that project. During the two years that I was with him, Joseph never mentioned about his positive views about me.
That is the issue here. Why don't people appreciate more and appreciate more promptly? Most of the people are quick to come out with criticisms, but only few know how to provide timely appreciation. I was very happy to get this appreciation from Raghu. But I doubt if he would have told me this if I had not been resigning.
And I am yet to get any appreciation from Joseph.

Message: Appreciate more and appreciate more frequently. Don't wait for others to resign before you appreciate their contribution. 

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