Poll: What do you do if a Project Manager is not being professional in their communications?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:40
SITE STAFF
Nov 29

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do if a Project Manager is not being professional in their communications?".

This poll was originally submitted by Sofia Gutkin. View the poll results »



 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:40
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't know, it hasn't happened to me Nov 29

I can’t remember ever being in that situation. I’ve been working with the same customers and the same PMs for a long time, some are friendlier than others but all are professional. As I said before (similar quick poll) most of our communication is limited to: “Are you available?”,“When will you deliver”? “Thanks very much”. I had a few problems two or three years ago with a British agency (conflicting emails, late POs, etc.), but we no longer work together. I do not like stressfu... See more
I can’t remember ever being in that situation. I’ve been working with the same customers and the same PMs for a long time, some are friendlier than others but all are professional. As I said before (similar quick poll) most of our communication is limited to: “Are you available?”,“When will you deliver”? “Thanks very much”. I had a few problems two or three years ago with a British agency (conflicting emails, late POs, etc.), but we no longer work together. I do not like stressful situations and in my everyday life I tend to react by being extra polite in order to defuse the tension and put the other person into his/her place.Collapse


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:40
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Don´t really know... Nov 29

I voted Pretend nothing is wrong.

Not being professional could cover anything from using the wrong expressions in English in an e-mail, which I have seen in mails written by non-native speakers, to totally inappropriate messages, unhelpful behaviour or non-payment. Luckily it has rarely happened for me.

I pretend nothing is wrong if their English is poor, and answer politely - I would not understand at all if they wrote to me in their own language! I consider carefully
... See more
I voted Pretend nothing is wrong.

Not being professional could cover anything from using the wrong expressions in English in an e-mail, which I have seen in mails written by non-native speakers, to totally inappropriate messages, unhelpful behaviour or non-payment. Luckily it has rarely happened for me.

I pretend nothing is wrong if their English is poor, and answer politely - I would not understand at all if they wrote to me in their own language! I consider carefully whether I really want to work with them. If they pay OK and on time, then that's fine!
However, I consider a request like ´pls send yr best price for this job, im gonna need it fast´ as REALLY unprofessional, and would probably ignore it. Any use of ´gonna´ tends to make me hit the delete key…

Probably I have simply refused to work with most of the problem agencies before they have had time to get more unprofessional than that. I seem to have been lucky.

There are in fact are a LOT of well-meaning and hard-working Project Managers about. Cultural differences are not the same as being unprofessional. I try on the whole to be polite and understand what they REALLY mean, and we sort things out.
Sometimes PMs are tied to agency policies which they cannot change, and I have tried sending a mail to someone higher up, but it doesn´t always make a big difference. I stop working with the agency after that!
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Kaisa I
Philip Lees
Julio Madrid
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:40
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Decline to work for them Nov 29

It only happened once in my many decades of experience. All others have been totally professional.

Teresa Borges
 

Maria Silvestri  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2010)
Italian to English
+ ...


Posted via
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Manager? Nov 29

Most companies don't share their structures on their websites - either I'm working with the person who is responsible or I have no way to go up the chain of command.

I communicate with PMs the way I'd like to be communicated with, and it seems to work well.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 29

It doesn't happen very often, mainly because I don't work with agencies much, but I usually find a gentle reminder does the trick.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:40
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Nov 30

It happens regularly, and it's part of our job to know how to deal with these people. Most people called "PM" by agencies are actually assistants, with little training and zero knowledge about translations and business. I always try to reply politely and comply as much as possible, when "non-professional" is equivalent to being stupid or not really knowing what's going on (the most common situtation). But if "non-professional" means anything that harms ethics and professionalism, the solution wo... See more
It happens regularly, and it's part of our job to know how to deal with these people. Most people called "PM" by agencies are actually assistants, with little training and zero knowledge about translations and business. I always try to reply politely and comply as much as possible, when "non-professional" is equivalent to being stupid or not really knowing what's going on (the most common situtation). But if "non-professional" means anything that harms ethics and professionalism, the solution would be to scale it up, no doubt.

[Edited at 2019-11-30 03:39 GMT]
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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 14:40
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
A strange case Nov 30

I had one case with a regular client where a junior PM was basically fawning over me and acting like a star-struck fan in Skype group chat. It got so gross that I spoke to one of the senior PMs on the same project and asked her to clamp down on it.

 


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Poll: What do you do if a Project Manager is not being professional in their communications?

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