It requires more than educational qualifications and skills to be a successful project manager. One need to have various soft skills and capability to get out the comfort zone. Ready to learn new skills, gain new knowledge and take the assigned project as their personal ambition to fulfil it. They require intense people skill to manage and motivate them to complete the work. With rapid economic growth happening and competition getting tougher and tougher, the demand for project manager has increased from past few years worldwide. They are seen as a core team member of any organisation, but to be a really successful project manager one need to hone their talent over the time.
Critical Skills Every Project Manager Should Have:
1. To have great communication skills: A project manager requires to be great at communication skills at all levels. They require interacting with various kinds of people from senior management to freshers in the company. They must be able to talk and listen with equal ease with everyone. It is important for them to be polite and when requires pay attention to people’s personal problem as in when they share. For example, if someone comes to you with their family related problems then it is important to listen to their concern and later on enquire about it.
2. Writing skills: Non-verbal communication is equally important as a verbal communication for a project manager. Effective emails are required to communicate the concern or query to the senior management. A good email sometimes is also an effective tool of motivation for the team. Writing is also helpful to give clear instructions for a project and it allows for networking to the people who are not within the visible vicinity.
3. Confidence: Confidence is required so to motivate the team members during the stressful time. If a project manager shows the confidence in himself and his team then the results will be brilliant. It is important to also put across the ideas in the senior management with immense confidence for a project to be successful. Confidence is contagious if you have it in you than your team will automatically be inspired by it.
4. Patience: Patience is another essential virtue since in a team there are people of various capabilities and working style. Some are quite fast and finish the work even before time and others might take a lot of time to do a project. Every individual has different characteristics to do a project, the job of project manager is important here to understand that how and when the work should be assigned to people.
5. Public speaker: Effective public speaking skills are of great requirement, especially when presenting the project in front of the stakeholders. Communicating with right words to them along with immense confidence is essential to make the project successful. To be good at public speaking don’t shy away from taking classes and practicing for it. Some people are born with it, but others are capable of being one.
6. Be a problem solver: While working on a project, various kinds of issues can come up which at times might require immediate attention. For a project manager, it is of utmost important to be able to instantly find the right and effective solution without taking much time. They require an eye to finding the effective solution in every difficulty and make the workflow smooth.
7. Developing new skills: For a project manager it becomes essential to have the right knowledge of the various skills required in a team. Hence, it is of added advantage of the project manager is flexible and ready to be out of comfort zone to learn new skills. It could be on the job, or joining courses or be a part of training. The more skills and knowledge they develop, higher the chances of success.
8. Time management: Every project is required to be completed within the deadline. Hence, the skill of time management becomes essential for a project manager. Sometimes the deadline to complete the project might not be enough, in that case, management skills to get the work done comes handy. Managing time can be learnt and practiced and can be perfected over the time.
9. Giving compliments: Appreciating people for accomplishing the task is a great gesture to increase the enthusiasm level within the team. Occasional compliments and appreciation to the team members in a group and as individuals always help. The teammates then tend to look up to you for your feedback and suggestion as and when required.
10. Create the new system: In the initial phase of creating new system might be a time-consuming effort. But in the longer run it will turn out to be an effective time-saving strategy. What goes where and who is required to do what is important to plan and decide before the work begins. A good system is highly effective to get the job done. In fact everyone is clear and know what their job roles are, the amount of confusion and misunderstandings becomes negligible. Making every individual responsible for their work have its own benefits, first is they will take charge of the work and second, it makes workflow smooth.
11. To be rational: Tough decisions are to be made with logics and reasonings. To be rational while making a decision is a skill, a project manager requires, too much emotional attachment involved in the decision-making process will hamper the result and efficiency of the work. For example, you might need to talk to your teammate regarding a concern where he/she might be asked to leave the project, if the emotions are involved in it then it will be difficult talking to the person. Hence, one need to be clear that it is just part of the job.
12. Be resourceful: Having the right resources for the work is another important skill. Create a good network system, know the people who can get the job done. Interact with more and more people, learn from them and find out their skills and knowledge. Networking for a project manager is essential as if the project of various features may come and knowing the right person will help in fitting in the team.
13. Have team meetups: Team meetings are helpful to discuss the problems faced by the team members and the possible solution for it. A project manager can receive the update on the work that is happening and the status on it. Team meetings are not necessarily waste of time, but if done effectively can give great results. Team meetings provide opportunities for everyone to interact and share their ideas and concerns.
14. Share the vision: Why the project is important and what we want to achieve with this work? These questions are important to answer to the team members. Always share your vision with them, let them know the whereabouts of your work and what are the benefits of the end result. Sharing the vision is helpful in keeping and motivating everyone towards a common goal.
15. Be inspired: Project manager job is very tiring and tough. The person needs to be motivated all the time and has to be on the toes for everyone. Sometimes it becomes quite tiring and chances of the person draining out become high. The best way to deal with this is to find your inspiration and hobby, whenever you feel things are getting out of your hand, look towards your inspiration and the energy will flow back in. It is good to find the inspiration in some different area of work rather than yours.
16. Encourage work and personal life balance: Most of the time people tend to spend their lives in an office or in the professional sphere. But it is essential to have a personal and social life. Encourage your team members to be a part of social groups and take vacations with their families. Too much work tend to burn out the person hence to get the best out of them is to allow them to have breaks in between and come back refreshed. Once they are charged, they will automatically deliver great results.
17. Prevent yourself from ego: It could be a scenario where you might be facing issues and problems with a specific team member, or you might not agree to someone else’s view. The best thing is to look at the bigger picture and see the end result. Focus on working as a team and keep aside your personal egos and issues. Great results will be noticed and that is what is important.
18. Provide space: Every individual is unique and has different skill sets and talent. As a manager ensure that you provide some space to explore and experiment to your team members. Take their suggestions and feedback as in when required. Allow them to execute their own ideas and appreciate it. Letting the talent grow in the workspace makes the people comfortable and happy to work. This will give better output at work and as a manager you will earn respect.
Every project manager has their own style of work. Before becoming a manager try finding and learn about your own style. Know what are your strengths and weaknesses and what makes a fabulous manager. Ability to learn new skills and ensure to always keep your mind open for new things.