AXELOS ProPath, the world's most powerful project, programme and portfolio best practice certifications

Teaching project management to learn

Michelle LaBrosse
June 25, 2012

According to the saying, teaching is the best form of learning. When was the last time you put on your teaching hat to help someone else? When you take time to help others, you not only do them a favour but you also improve your own skills in the process of helping them with theirs. Part of being a good project manager is using your project management skills and talents to give back to the community. Ask yourself this question: “How can I help someone else reach his or her goals and dreams?”

Helping others is an often-overlooked avenue to achieve success and yet is perhaps one of the best ways to do so. Each and every one of us has the ability to help someone else in a significant way. We all have unique, innate talents and strengths that can serve others. What we do with these talents defines who we are, professionally and personally.

Contribute to the community

One of the best ways to help others is by starting or joining a Mastermind Group. Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry, neither did I when a friend of mine asked me to lead a gathering of her small business friends in Simsbury, Connecticut. What I learned is that a Mastermind Group is a collection of people who agree to get together periodically with the sole purpose of expanding their opportunities. My friend got the idea after reading Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. She assembled 22 people for our first get-together. We agreed to meet every two to three weeks throughout the year.

The experience I had leading my friend’s group was nothing short of amazing. People brought business problems they couldn’t seem to solve, and after a few months they came out with stronger businesses and more confidence in themselves.

The key behind the mastermind philosophy is that you are putting people of various strengths into one room. You may have a problem that seems insurmountable, but for someone else it may be a routine snag they have already overcome.

When joining a Mastermind Group, take a minute to evaluate your strengths and to realise the assets that you can bring to the table. (Everyone has his or her own unique set of strengths—yes even you!) The more people you help, the more you will learn, and the stronger project manager you’ll become.

Donate your time and resources

Recently Cheetah Learning donated our one-day course, Project Management Project Accelerator, to a non-profit organisation in order to help them prosper. We picked a foster and adoption agency because we saw the great work they were doing for children and adolescents in their town, and knew how important it was for them to do well for the sake of their community.

During this one-day course, we taught what we knew best: how to run fast and effective projects. We didn’t really expect to learn much that day, because hey, we were the teachers! But we forgot the golden rule, “Teaching is the best form of learning.”

During the process of teaching this organisation how to manage projects, we had to answer hard questions about how to apply standardised project management practices and techniques to the very volatile world of foster care. We learned more about what it was like to manage projects in the non-profit human service sector, which is very different from our typical corporate clients.

The point is, the more you can get out and help people of different backgrounds, the greater your skill sets will be. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and help others grow their dreams today! And don’t be surprised when your own dreams grow in the process.

Author avatar
Michelle LaBrosse
Michelle LaBrosse (PMP) is one of the Project Management Institute's (PMI) 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the World and the founder of Cheetah Learning, a former PMI Professional Development Provider of the Year. She boasts a background in engineering and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Managers (OPM) program, as well as a prolific writer and educator, having authored Cheetah Negotiations, Cheetah Project Management, Cheetah Know How and Cheetah Exam Prep as well as numerous articles in publications worldwide.
Read more