These days, it may be difficult to find a great project manager who can skillfully lead your company’s latest project to success. Other than the obvious factors like relevant experience and a positive go-getter attitude, a project manager also has to have a lot of other skills up his or her sleeve. When a project manager is able to successfully guide a team of competent members, there’s no telling just what they can achieve!
Are you a project manager or are you looking for a project manager for your latest endeavor? Seek out these essential qualities:
A Natural Ability to Lead
Team members look to the project manager for guidance and leadership. Without a natural ability to lead, a project manager may simply borrow power from those who are higher up in the corporate ladder. In having the natural ability to lead a team through a series of different milestones, a project manager can command attention and delegate tasks efficiently. Team members who can look up to a great leader will then be better able to carry out the needed tasks to complete the project.
Competence in His or Her Field
Aside from being able to lead, a great project manager must also know the technical aspects of the project at hand. Just because a person is a great leader doesn’t always mean he or she can understand how difficult some tasks may be to other team members. A project manager must understand each team member’s strengths and weaknesses and how he or she can utilize these skills in order to effectively complete the project at hand. Simply put, there must always be a balance of leadership skills and technical know-how.
Sharing the Same Vision as the Company
Project managers must be able to inspire as well as lead. In having a clear vision of how the project should be carried out, a project manager can influence his or her team members to look to that vision as their goal. The success of one project is a huge step in achieving the goals of the company and in doing so, the team members can feel a sense of achievement in pushing the company closer to their bigger goals.
Great Communication Skills
Whether he or she is talking with the custodian or with the client, a great project manager must be able to communicate with people at all levels of the business. Communication is one of the most important skills to have when you’re working with a team. It allows you to clearly outline what needs to be done and how each step must be executed. Project managers must be open with their feedback, and they must be able to express themselves in a way that is polite yet professional and direct. In addition, great communication skills ensure that everyone stays on the same page when it comes to working on tasks within the project. Lastly, a project manager must deal with the effective dissemination of information. They must never withhold information from people who have a right to know what’s happening with the project.
Listens to Stakeholders and Team Members
Sometimes project managers give too much attention to the stakeholders that team members are suffering from expectations that are set too high. In order to avoid this, the project manager must be able to balance the priorities of the stakeholders with the abilities of the team. In addition, a great project manager must be open to listening to any concerns that anyone involved in the project may have in order to tailor the process to suit the needs and expectations of those involved.
Keeps the Big Picture in Mind
The downfall of many project managers is that they get so caught up with the little details that they tend to forget the big picture. A great project manager should know what he or she should directly supervise and what he or she can leave to the hands of capable team members. There will be a lot going on when a project is being carried out, so instead of nitpicking every little detail, a project manager should know what their big concerns are. In a way, allowing team members to handle certain aspects of the project also shows these members how much trust the project manager has in them.
Operates Well Under Pressure
As each deadline draws near, a project manager must be able to resist the urge to panic and push team members to complete everything at once. Projects will always have snags that may delay the completion of certain tasks. Great project managers should not see this as a failure. Instead, they must be able to view each problem as an opportunity to prove the team’s ability to handle these difficulties. Project managers must also be problem solvers who can influence the outcome of a potential mishap and use it in their favor. In addition, each unmet deadline can be viewed as a learning experience of what not to do and what to avoid.
Gets to Know the Team
Each team has to go through a series of processes, tasks and milestones together. An experienced project manager must be the bond that holds the team together as they push towards achieving each objective. It’s true that every team member has different personalities and working styles. However, a project manager must be able to understand all this and use this knowledge in order to help each member finish their tasks more efficiently. The different working styles of members within the team can also be used to help solve a problem for the entire team.
Every project manager must see their current project as their masterpiece. They must be optimistic enough to believe that they can finish the project successfully. Great project managers must not see themselves as slave drivers who are pushing people to finish tasks. Instead, they must view themselves as committed leaders who are guiding the team and the company towards the same goal. They energize, inspire and influence the team members to do their best to complete a shared masterpiece!