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Coaching Good Projects to Great Projects

In the book, “Good to Great,” we learn how good companies become great companies. If you can do that with companies, surely, you can do it with business projects. Yes?

Perhaps some of your recent projects have been … well… not-so-good, and you want to improve them: you want to improve the performance of your project teams, and even improve your own and your company’s prestige in the marketplace. That’s what we promise you with this article about coaching projects.

Over the years of coaching projects, I have learned that everything we do – and everything your project team members do – is done to meet our own personal needs first, leaving project needs to come second.

Now, there’s nothing you can do about that – it is human nature. We have to use it, not fight it. Your job, as the business or project manager, is to find out what those primary personal needs are and how they are being met. Because, if you don’t know what needs your people are trying to satisfy, you have no way of knowing why your projects are failing. What you don’t know, you cannot fix!

Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t

by Jim Collins

We have to dig beneath the surface and delve into the root causes of the disruptions, delays and disappointments you are dealing with. Just tackling the technical issues will only bury the real problems and make them harder to resolve when they resurface again later. Let me explain why coaching projects is necessary.

I have visited 39 countries and lived and worked for several years in each of seven of them. Everywhere I have been, people were different but they had far more similarities — because everybody has the same basic human needs. We all need to feel Certainty or stability; we all need Variety in our lives; need to know we are Significant, and so on. All these needs underlie all the choices and all the decisions we make throughout our lives. This subject is called Human Needs Psychology, and it is fundamental to coaching projects to become great projects. It’s really all about coaching project team.

Human Needs Psychology helps us understand why we do things, even things we do unconsciously, and especially things that are damaging to ourselves and our work – in this case, your projects. When we understand our basic needs, we can choose more productive ways of satisfying them.

Furthermore, if we can understand our own needs, we can understand another person’s needs, and figure out why they act the way they do. That insight will help you influence what they do. Does that sound useful or what?

You use influence to get the people on your teams to do what you want, because torture is not an acceptable training technique! (I hope you realize that was a joke.)


The first need is for Certainty. We all want to feel safe, comfortable, and free of pain. It may be different for you but knowing I have somewhere to sleep tonight, and other nights into the future, gives my life stability.

You may have other ways to create a sense of Certainty, and you need that to perform at your best. How well could you do your job if your life was in utter turmoil and nothing was certain?

Imagine a manager who lacks certainty in most areas of their life and finds stability only in their work. If a problem crops up, will they risk taking innovative steps to solve that problem or might they push it aside, hoping it will go away? Everyone finds a way to be certain – the question is will it be a constructive way or a destructive way?

Uncertainty & Variety

The same applies to Uncertainty and Variety — we all need some variety in our lives. It’s what gives life its flavor and its excitement. It we don’t have uncertainty and variety, we get bored. If we get bored, our work suffers. Eventually, we must have variety of some sort so we unconsciously create a problem, which brings uncertainty into our lives. Do you have anyone on your team that does that?


Everyone needs to feel important to some degree. We can feel significant by achieving something great, creating something, being recognized. We can also feel significant by destroying something. Try creating a problem and see how significant you become; the bigger the problem, the more significance. You can see that giving an employee praise for good work will give them significance, and that may be all that is needed to avoid them causing problems. It can be a little tricky getting the balance right, which is why we offer Frederick Pearce Business Coaching services for coaching projects using human needs psychology.


I’m sure you can see how coaching project team members to meet their basic human needs in more constructive ways, can solve project problems and turn good projects into great projects.

In order to improve your projects, we will analyze the root causes of your disruptions, delays and disappointments. If you help your staff and project team members meet their basic needs in constructive ways, they will reward you with successful project outcomes. Coaching projects will create great projects



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About Frederick Pearce

Frederick has over 10 years coaching experience revitalizing small businesses, and mentors clients to re-energize their business and revitalize their company's potential.

One Response to "Coaching Good Projects to Great Projects"

  • Frederick Pearce
    May 22, 2015 - 4:16 pm

    Coaching Good Projects to Great Projects