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The Zen Approach: Balancing Mindfulness and Open Mindedness for Success as a PM Professional

By George Pitagorsky, PMP
Senior Enterprise Solutions Advisor, International Institute for Learning

Mindful open mindedness is the foundation for effective planning, change management, problem solving and conflict avoidance and resolution and these are the skills that enable project managers to succeed now and into the future.  Participants will learn techniques to work on their personal growth while becoming increasingly effective in managing themselves, their projects, and their careers.
 Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are too many conflicts, too much anxiety and too few moments of joy. Everything is changing.  Everyone is seeking to cut costs, increase throughput and maximize quality.  The Zen approach cuts through to help us manage the complex interplay among people, time, cost and results.  The effective project manager remains calm, motivates, promotes consensus and creates an understanding of wants and needs moderated by the reality that uncertainty is the only certainty.   
To be effective we must break out of the preconditioned mental constraints that keep us from creative thinking.  Then we can be successful at conflict resolution and problem solving. Open mindedness helps us find the solutions that lead to project success.  Participants will learn a mindfulness technique they can use while working to stay focused and calm and to more clearly see reactive tendencies and replace them with proactive behavior. 
Mindfulness and open mindedness enable us to use the principles and techniques of project management to manage expectations and performance.   We can ensure that people get what they need, when they need it and for the cost they expected to pay and that they accept what they get. We can manage performance to cut through interpersonal and intrapersonal issues that get in the way of excellence. Remain calm and energetic while being active and effective in the face of chaos, fear, resistance to change, unrealistic demands, conflict and the other aspects of project life that cause stress.
George Pitagorsky is Senior Enterprise Solutions Advisor for International Institute for Learning (IIL). He is an expert in project management, and process improvement with experience in a wide range of businesses and industries. He is an expert management consultant and facilitator, listed in Whos Who and a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

George advises clients on the implementation and improvement of project management. He has authored IILs Project Management Basics, a multimedia interactive browser based course, IILs IT Project Management System, a multimedia product, and has authored or directed development of IILs core PM courses including IILs PM Certificate Program. He is co-creator of both the Conscious Living and Working Wisely workshops. He has written numerous articles on Project Management, organizational development, conflict resolution and personal development subjects. George is co-author and director of The Unified Project Management Methodology (UPMM), a Web delivered PM process and knowledge management tool.

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