Anatomy of an Ideal Project Manager

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anatomy-of-an-ideal-project-managerManagement seems like a simple word, but in practice it’s the very opposite. Managing a team of creatives is not everyone’s cup of tea. Yet there are some brilliant minds who succeed in doing that.

They are the ideal project managers, and they are hard to find. But what makes them so unique? Its not just their ability to reach a goal but to make the experience an extremely rewarding one. An ideal project manager is subtle in his approach but will have a tight grip on each detail of his project even while being off duty. This ability comes with education as well as experience.

A Project Manager may not always be known as the Project Manager. They can be found in every field.  They provide successful outcomes. One powerful example of successful management is present in Egypt. The pyramids were the project of a man called Imhotep, son of King Khufu. He had no machines at his disposal, yet he created a structure so unique that history students still write theses on it – using nothing but effective leadership, powerful communication and an efficient use of finances.

Let’s take a look at the key skills of an ideal project manager:

Smooth Communicator

Communication is the most essential skill required for success in the corporate world. People who work in the business world know that communication is not just limited to words. There are facial expressions, gestures, inferences, behaviors, words, mails, tweets…

A great Project Manager is the king of them all. This person will make you feel like you are their best friend/employee/client. Their communication skills are so good, they make these project managers almost charismatic. “Where body language conflicts with the words that are being said, the body language will usually be the more ‘truthful’ in the sense of revealing true feelings.” Says Glen Wilson in his book ‘Introducing Body Language-A Practical Guide’.

This is why meetings are fun with such a manager. Smooth communication encourages the flow of ideas.

Robust Leader

Leadership qualities are a must-have. A PM knows that his team members are coming in from so many walks of life. Each has different strengths and weaknesses. They overcome all barriers to make sure the team stays on one page. How? They constantly learn. The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. —Theodore Roosevelt.

Additionally, successful project managers don’t micro manage their team. Even if they make mistakes, intelligent project managers allow them to rectify mistakes as soon as possible. A true leader doesn’t just show authority, but is also a soft person with whom subordinates can communicate comfortably about their challenges – to seek the best way forward.

Quick Learner

How many times have you heard a management professional say, “Twitter is just not my thing.” Or “This digital software goes above my head.” Many times, managers who didn’t experience the tech boom in their 20s have trouble dealing with new inventions in the business world. For that ideal project manager, new inventions are equal to ten new ways of doing productive work. They never stop learning and trying new things. That’s how it is in managing a project. A new project is always a new wave of excitement. It seeks the same level of anticipation that an ideal project manager has.

Very competitive

It is about being a skilled PM, but also a very possessive maternal/paternal figure who takes the project as their child.  Simply put, they know what they are doing and people under them, trust them a lot. History will always remember great project managers as people who had the ability to lead the team effectively. Degrees from excellent institutes instill these skills in students – which get polished further through experience. These people are great problem solvers who know how and when to act.

Shows empathy

Empathy is a universal language. It is also the language of an ideal project manager. They care for people, their feelings and their aspirations. They also care about schedules, stakeholders, missions and the risks involved. The world is currently suffering from a massive empathy deficit, so please take good care of this tip. Good project managers are kind and gentle, because this way of dealing with a human is more effective than coercion.

Enthusiastic and active

These heroes think that waking up each day is a blessing and facing new challenges is exciting. They are never demotivated by a late or early hour, and you can often spot them in a chirpy mood. They take their responsibility very seriously because to them it is more of a passion than a day/night job.

Takes the team along

Good PM are the substance that holds the team together. They are deep-rooted and sound-minded, which reflects well on their team. In order to make the team function as a fully cohesive unit, this one manager gives all and succeeds. Such a person plans ahead, but also plans in time. Planning and punctuality are the two most important things in a great project manager’s personality.

Thrives under pressure

Most of us would break under severe pressure. We see athletes doing it all the time and people doing deadline-based work are no different. However, an ideal project manager will wear their workout kicks and be on their mark to look deadlines in the eye. If there’s a situation and some time to solve, why not use the time instead of regretting later?

This is what goes on inside their heads. This ability doesn’t end in the office. It is a keeper in life too. There’s a good chance that a great project manager is great because he or she is 90% amazing under pressure, as testing situations often bring out the best in us.

Conclusion

Mentioned above are some abilities that an ideal project manager should have. Are you a project manager, managing your team successfully? Please share your opinions and suggestions in the comments below.

Alma Causey

Alma Causey

Alma Causey is a blogger by choice. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter: @Almacausey. This article was written on behalf of School Apply a valuable resource to find university programs expanding your educational horizons.

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