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Lessons learnt

This section provides some lessons which those currently operating as reflexive monitors felt important to share.

​Lessons learnt from the experiences of reflexive monitors

Important to build a relationship with project manager
- “need honest conversations around expectations”
- “regular communication”
- “need their buy-in”
- “help facilitate you into the group”
- “establish a relationship of trust and rapport with the project leader because tough and very direct discussions will come up, and they need to be discussed openly and without judgment”
- “it’s a hard road to get the project leader to realise things need to be done differently – sometimes I will suggest a change, and this is met in a quite defensive manner – there is a fine line between being seen as helpful and being seen to be interfering”
- “regular phone meetings with the project leader to get an update on where things are at”
Defining the role
- “Work with project manager to define the role and what their expectations were”
- “Important to ask this as there to help them”
- “Don’t go in and say what you think, project manager has to have buy-in”
- “need a clear definition of the role at the start”
- “you must remain disconnected from the project – it is not your project, you need to remain apart from it in order to see it clearly, and be able to support the leader, so cannot get personally invested in the outcome”
- “must have the skills to ‘speak the truth kindly’ and remain dispassionate when those who are personally involved get defensive when you touch a nerve”
Use accessible terminology
- “[Jargon] doesn’t work…is a barrier…use laymen terms”
Being flexible in your approach
- “[Be flexible] in how you approach the role”
- “[Be flexible about] activities you try”
- “be willing to try any approach – think creatively about methodologies”
Having open communication
- “always be willing to see another point of view, and encourage others to see other points of view also”
- “things won’t happen the first time you bring it up – keep telling the same consistent message until they are heard”
- “Give consistent messages”
Have a support network
- “to talk to and off-load”
- “Don’t necessarily need solutions from them”
Monitoring and Evaluating
- “part of your role”
- “Helps you understand/track what is going on”
Providing feedback
- “Two different parts, devil’s advocate and pushing hard and looking for positives and building support”
- “Can only identify change, you cannot make change happen”
- “you point out the behaviours needing change and actions that must be taken, but cannot make them change, only support them to change”
- “if change isn’t occurring, or they disagree, then you need to be able to self-evaluate and accept that you might be wrong on this one”
Specific training to attend
- “Facilitation training”
- “Conflict resolution”
Building trust
- “With the project manager”
- “With project team members”
Using different strategies to issues
- “Interview team members individually, as this allows them to get across the real institutions and attitudes that are driving the team culture, as well as highlighting what they believe the key problem or ambition for change is”
No right way to do the role
- “best advice I got was from another RM – just make a start, just do something…it is very difficult to know what to do as an RM, so it is literally taking a step out and hoping a stepping stone presents itself so you can go forward”
- “context specific – approach role differently based on a number of factors”
Have a buddy - “someone to learn from”
- “talk things through with…doesn’t mean giving you answers”



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