At Latamways, we start looking at events to attend at the beginning of the year to be able to plan ahead. For me, as the leader of Operations managing 16 project managers, it is usually a no-brainer. I always end up choosing the one focusing on Project Management (PM) organized by the European Language Industry Association (ELIA).
It was a real pleasure to be back onsite after the pandemic, especially in Manchester! This year’s edition of #FocusPM featured three tracks: Communication, Vendor Management, and Sales from a PM perspective. The organization was so good that they even divided us into groups so that everyone could attend all tracks during the two-day Conference.
Zoran Metikos was the speaker in charge of the Communications track. He discussed how to achieve effective communication covering aspects such as the environment and various circumstances, trust, human connection and attentive listening. The controversial topic of feedback was also raised in the presentation and he gave us good advice on how to go through this stage in a positive and productive way taking into account all stakeholders.
Thomas Edwards introduced us to the topic of Sales from a PM perspective and how these two areas, many times disconnected and in conflict, can align to help achieve company goals. According to Edwards, PMs are a great fit to shift into the role of Business Development Managers or Account Managers as these two have similar functions and require similar skills. After looking into these roles, he shared how to do sales efficiently without “being noticed”, identify sales opportunities and the right “allies” to talk to.
Arancha Caballero led the Vendor Management track and the keyword was “community”. The community building perspective made me think not only about our role in our companies but our approach to life in general. From this track, there are four tips that resonated with me the most: 1. Focusing on process and preparation for success; 2. Building community (all people living in a particular area with same nationalities, common interests, or social groups) instead of selling a commodity; 3. Treating others the way you’d like to be treated; and 4. Focusing only on what we can control.
Once again, this event surpassed my expectations, not only for content but also for the unique networking opportunities. Lots of food for thought. I came back with valuable information to share with my team and to use when analyzing the way we manage our business and eventually improve the way we do business.