Knowledge workers bring far more than just their intellectual skills to a project. They bring their fears, their prejudices, their motivations, their emotional history, and their personalities to the table too. At kick-off meetings we openly discuss our roles and skill sets, but these other intangible things are never exposed.
Yet the way that stakeholders and team members interact with one another is almost certain to have a greater impact on the success of your project than which CMS you choose or what goes into your style guide.
Of course content strategists don’t have the monopoly on people skills, but because of the highly cross-departmental nature of our work, we really do need to put in a little extra effort. Whether you’re working in-house or as a consultant, you need to learn to read people’s motivations, understand when and why they might be operating out of fear, make sure they feel heard, and keep your team connected.
Presented at Content Strategy Forum 2014 in Frankfurt on 3 July 2014 - http://www.csforum2014.com/events/people-puzzle/