10 Skills that Make a Perfect Project Manager

Project manager is a specific leadership position, which requires certain personality traits and qualities. A great project manager is able to deliver projects on time and within budget, as well as meet and exceed the expectations of stakeholders. Still, many professionals have no clue as to what makes a project manager really great. Here are 10 key traits one must possess to become a successful project manager.

1. Leadership abilities

A project manager is a leader – he or she sets the tone for the project, provides a clear vision of its objectives for the team and anticipates potential problems. Project managers are followed because they radiate enthusiasm and passion for what they do.

2. Knowing how to delegate tasks

Being a leader mean that you trust team members and delegate tasks without a second thought. Project managers should be able to judge them well and assign tasks in accordance with their strengths and weaknesses.

3. Communication

Great communication is a must – how else can you deliver your vision, hold efficient meetings to make decisions or solve problems and send written communication like reports and emails that are pleasant to read and actually make sense?

Project mangers should know how to speak in public, communicating their ideas and reflections in a coherent and understandable manner. They should also know how to provide constructive feedback and actively listen to their colleagues.

4. Problem-solving skills

Every project manager works with a team of experts or consultants, using their expertise to solve problems in a most efficient manner. Nobody expects them to have a solution to each and every issue, but project managers must be able to use the knowledge of team members to produce a collective response to any problem experienced while delivering a project.

5. Empathy

Good team leaders are empathic – they know how to keep the team focused and project development streamlined. They ensure that each member remains productive even when going through some personal troubles. Sympathy should be used only when appropriate and sparsely.

6. Collaboration

Every great project manager knows that their team is the most important aspect of their operation. Knowledge on how to develop a great team and keep it productive is crucial – conflicts and disagreements do happen and a great project manager will know how to mediate them, making sure all team members are united.

7. Competence

Being on top of all projects entails a vast industry awareness and high qualifications. Project mangers possess extensive knowledge about the financial or legal aspects of projects, radiating competence and inspiring the team. Technical expertise is not necessary here – project managers are there to encourage, challenge and inspire the team.

8. Integrity

Great project managers are honest and loyal. They easily gain the trust of their team, set the ethical tone on projects and show that rules are there to be followed. Projects must bring profit, but not at the expense of the team’s conscience – project managers will come up with a variety of solutions to achieve their goals.

9. Organization

Excellent organization is a key feature of every project manager – that’s how they create a productive work environment, solve problems under pressure, stay focused on the big picture and prioritize their own responsibilities. When presenting their results, great project managers are able to recover all the necessary data and show an understandable vision of the project.

10. Team Development

When delivering projects under pressure, project managers are able to hold the team together. Leaders realize that problems can always be expected – coming up with plan B (and C) is something every project manager does routinely. Even if things get bad, great project managers radiate a positive attitude to the team, inspiring people and leading them through difficulties.

Those 10 traits are essential to every project manager’s success and clearly signal a professional’s potential for becoming a great project manager material.

Isabel Wiliams is a Project Manager at BizDb. She combines a strong background in Internet Science with an expertise in Social Media. She is a passionate educator who lectures about using the potential of the World Wide Web for professional development.

Isabel Wiliams

Isabel Wiliams

Isabel Wiliams is a Project Manager at BizDb. She combines a strong background in Internet Science with an expertise in Social Media. She is a passionate educator who lectures about using the potential of the World Wide Web for professional development.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Scott Helle says:

    Great list, Isabel! I love #5, empathy, which is often overlooked. Too many times we as project managers forget to think about ‘what’ feelings the client has or is having, and ‘why’ they are having those feelings. Your point about separating empathy from sympathy is critical. Normally I want to understand my client, and validate rationale feelings, and talk through irrational concerns and bring that understanding (or lack of) around to a more appropriate, hopefully analytical understanding of the problem/issue. Only in cases such as a serous indirectly related issues such as a death in the family that affect ability of a key resource to focus on a project do I go to sympathy. Again, great list!!

  2. Avatar Martha says:

    Great article . I have come across an infographic which describes the attributes of a successful manager . It is an interesting and informative one , you can refer here:http://bit.ly/1H2yZVa

  3. Avatar Cynthia Clark says:

    This is an awesome article. First saw it on LinkedIn and connected to this link. I think you have hit the nail on the head with this, as you include soft that are often overlooked, as well as hard skills. Great job!

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