What do you require to become a great manager? It’s not much about your qualifications, which are still good, but you need to acquire essential project management knowledge. Having the right skills will help you not only run a successful business, but it’s also the way to build a business profile many can admire.
Being a great manager is not only about technical prowess and timing. Some of the most effective manager skills are soft skills, which many professionals overlook while working on hard skills. Project management requires these soft skills, which allow you to bring the best out of people. Through the skills, you can create harmonious relationships and build motivated teams to help things run smoothly throughout your project.
Developing project management skills will help you when things get scary, or when your project suddenly changes direction and you need to maintain order. While “soft skills” may sound fluffy, they can have a significant impact and sometimes become the difference between your success and failure. Here are five project management skills for success that will transform your teams.
Leadership is among skills needed for project management. The people under you look up to you for direction, so you must know which way to take. Good leadership varies from one industry to another, but you must be someone who inspires action and unity of purpose. As the leader, you should communicate your project details effectively, relate with the team empathetically, and also steer the project calmly during rough patches. A good leader understands what’s needed to inspire the team to deliver.
How to Develop Leadership Skills
The easiest way to acquire leadership skills is by learning from other leaders. Find people in your industry who are doing it perfectly and study their patterns to discover the elements in their management that make them great leaders. You could go for coffee with colleagues or read about successful business leaders.
How important are communication skills in project management? A project manager works with different people, including clients, departmental heads, leaders, etc. Team members may be committed to one purpose, but on an individual level, each person is different. When you’re managing many people, you need at least basic project management skills. Communication is an essential ingredient in establishing solid relationships with the people collaborating to implement your ideas. Unless you’re all on the same page, work will not flow in the direction you want.
Because all the people involved have unique personalities, you have to tailor your communication to bring everyone closer. Poor communication could send different messages to every team member, creating a chaotic situation that stalls progress.
How to Develop Effective Communication Skills
To develop proper communication skills, listen and ask questions. Listening helps you pick up on the things others are saying. You’ll understand their concerns and ideas. Also, don’t hesitate to give feedback, even in critical situations. It’s vital for growth, and your team needs it. Lastly, centralize communication. Each instance of communication should have context, purpose, and traceability. This allows you to communicate less but more effectively.
Organization is among the top project management skills you should acquire to help your team deliver the best outcomes. This refers to many things, including personal time management and planning out projects. As a project manager, you’re responsible for ensuring you stay organized as everyone relies on you to show leadership. Without your leadership, the project will be subject to multiple ideas implemented simultaneously, which leads to a collapse.
How to Develop Organizational Skills
To improve your project management skills, you need organization. These are skills you can acquire easily. First, ensure your calendar is up to date as this helps you track important milestones and tasks. It prevents losing sight of things that are due. Besides, organization helps you know when some team members are available, allowing you to schedule meetings. Second, set your Do Not Disturb status. This helps you handle one thing simultaneously, giving each task full attention for the best solution. Spreading your attention across different things might hold you back and will waste your time.
Things will change along the project cycle and you’ll encounter new challenges, which push you to act differently. Even the best-laid plans fail, sometimes for reasons beyond your control, like realizing you need to take a different route for the project to succeed. One of the project management skills assessment tools is measuring how well you handle an abrupt change of direction.
The most accomplished project managers don’t shy away from going off-piste as being adaptable is a crucial element to successful project management. As a project leader, it’s a managerial skill that gives you the flexibility to respond to emerging situations without sacrificing the whole project to start from scratch. If you can’t adapt to different situations, you set yourself up for failure. However, this does not mean adaptability will make all your problems disappear and guarantee success, but it’s good insurance when things fail to go according to plan.
How to Acquire Adaptability Skills
Regardless of the project management methodology you’re using, you should be more agile. There are many agile practices you can incorporate into your toolset to enhance adaptability. Daily standups, continuous feedback, and iterative sprints will help you adapt to different situations more efficiently. You could also draw inspiration from the principles and core values of your vision.
5. Unflappability – staying calm under pressure
Being a project manager, you cannot afford to lose your cool often. While working with different people, you’ll encounter situations that will trigger your emotions. Remaining calm under all this pressure is one of the soft skills of project management you should acquire. Many high-pressure situations will test your ability to remain calm. Situations like things going wrong or tight deadlines will push you to the limit and help you become a better manager if you overcome the challenges.
You need to think on your feet even when exposed to chaos and disruption that makes it difficult to focus. Everyone else counts on your contribution to steer the project in the right direction, so you must develop creative solutions and maintain a positive outlook within your team.
How to Develop Unflappability Skills
The first solution to develop unflappability skills is to recognize the things that make you flap. Discovering your pressure points helps you identify them going forward to make better decisions. Also, learn from experiences. Reflect on how you responded to irritating situations and keep track of the things that get you frustrated.
Developing project management hard skills is vital for your success as a manager. However, you also need to master soft skills, which help you relate better with individuals and inspire action. With these skills, you can steer a project and avoid pitfalls that would stall your progress.
Which project management skills do you find most powerful? Share a comment below.
About the Guest Author
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.