The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management – A Book Review

The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management: Solving the Most Common People Problems for Team Leaders features the eight most common problems concerning people in terms of project management. The book is based on a lifetime of research that offers ways on how to handle people with bad behavior, turn them around, boost employee morale, increase the overall performance of a team, and even manage difficult bosses. It suggests problem-solving models that can be tailored to suit unique situations and specific people. The author recognizes that nothing can be harder than managing teams and leading people which is a skill that combines the knowledge of organizational behaviors, human psychology, and communication skills.

Book Details

The hardcover book was published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers on December 11, 2018, with 256 pages, written in English. It is divided into the eight skills, with a summary for each skill and case stories to better illustrate the topic. Its ISBN 10 and 13 numbers are 1523097930 and 978-1523097937, respectively. The book weighs 1.2 pounds and its dimensions are 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches. It is also available on Kindle and as an audio CD.


Paperback is $25.44 while the Kindle and audio CD versions cost $19.99.

Target Audience

The Essential People Skills for Project Management greatly benefits team leaders and managers whose tasks are to oversee and coordinate people who are under their supervision. It is also as advantageous for individuals who want to have solutions that can be immediately applied in the organizations that they function in.

What Customers Say

One customer who has bought the book finds that the techniques used in the different circumstances are powerful that she is willing to give it 6 stars if it were only possible. Another customer says the book has great ideas and perspective which have helped her better understand her team and make them more engaged and productive.

Content, Approach, Style

Content. The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management is divided into eight different skills which is the subject of the book. The introduction explains how the eight were identified which was through research, experience, and feedback from numerous team leaders. Furthermore, it also defines what project leaders and people skills are. Skill 1 discusses how to diagnose and correct people with problems, Skill 2 teaches how to be tough on people problems and not on people, and Skill 3 is about building highly successful teams. Skill 4 discusses how to boost people’s attitudes, happiness, and performance; Skill 5 describes how to turn around difficult people and underperformers, and Skill 6 shows how to motivate the right team behaviors. Skill 7 teaches how to succeed when faced with change, problems, and new challenges and Skill 8 describes how to gain favor and influence with your boss.

Approach/Tone. The author writes as a researcher and uses case stories to better send his message across, as well as an analogy for illustration. He also incorporates theories to back claims and conclusions.

Style: The author communicated through the language that is unique to organizational structures without being too technical for the regular reader. As much as the book will be interesting to business leaders, managers, human resource specialists, and supervisors, it will also appeal as much to ordinary individuals who don’t belong to this industry.

Why Buy the Book?

The book is a good resource material that teaches individuals, managers and subordinates alike, the way to handle and deal with different kinds of people and how to turn to their advantage the problems and challenges met along the way. It has been based on a lifetime of research, with interviews with different managers from all different industries. It makes it easier for the reader to learn how to make their members more productive which is essential to the overall success of a project and organization.


The author, Zachary Wong, is a Professor and ‚ÄòHonored Instructor’ at the U.C. Berkeley Extension. He teaches human factors, international marketing, and business management, teams, and leadership. He is also an Adjunct Professor at U.C. at Davis and has over 30 years of managerial experience involving Strategic Planning, Research and Technology, Risk Management, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Business Analysis at Chevron Corporation. Aside from this book, he also authored the Human Factors in Project Management and Personal Effectiveness in Project Management and acts as an active consultant on organizational effectiveness, team development, and leadership training.

Paperback is $25.44 while the Kindle and audio CD versions cost $19.99.

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