Are you a confident project manager; one that team members look to for direction and one that senior executives trust to successfully complete tasks?
The good news is: You can be. Using the correct tools and honing a few critical soft skills, which we outline below, will help you to sharpen your expertise as a project manager.
The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is arguably the most important skill that any project manager can harness. Communication, when used correctly, is the tool that is used to outline the plan of action, to offer direction along the way, to ensure understanding and collaboration, and ultimately to facilitate a successful outcome.
As Project Smart outlines, project managers should be active listeners and should use communication to convey the organization’s vision, set clear priorities, enable collaboration, and ultimately, build relationships based on trust and respect.
Fine-tune your communications skills with this free online course.
As a project manager, you’re at the helm. It’s your responsibility to remain focused on reaching the end goal, to take initiative and apply strategic vision. When challenges arise, you need to be agile, optimistic and confident about the way forward. You also need to be empathetic and allow your team members the space to share their ideas. It’s your task to lead by example.
While leadership skills might come more naturally to some than others, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be learned. Click here for 10 quick tips on how to become a better leader.
The art of persuasion goes hand in hand with communication as well as leadership. In order to reach your end goal, you may need to convince your team to follow a certain plan of action or to stick with it when certain obstacles arise. This is where clear communication comes in, detailing the objectives and offering feedback as and when required.
If you’ve established yourself as a leader that your team members can trust, you’ll no doubt have an easier time encouraging your team to take action, getting them to see things through a different lens, or motivating them when the going gets tough.
Check out some of the upcoming Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on persuasion here.
4. Decision making
It’s a fact of life: Unexpected detours may arise when rolling out the plan of action on projects. In these moments, the ability to make clear, confident and insightful decisions will save time, minimize stress and ensure that momentum is kept.
Key points that should be considered when making a decision include identifying the issue, analyzing the options and alternatives, considering who or what will be affected by the decision, and assessing what actions need to be taken to implement the solution.
Of course, there are some online courses, like this one, to help you with decision making, too.
5. Commercial awareness
Understanding an organization’s overall objectives, strategies, challenges, target audience and competitors allows you to align projects to those goals, to tailor your strategies accordingly and to make decisions appropriately. With some effort and research, you can further equip yourself to lead your team with strategic insight, to liaise with contractors in an informed and confident manner, and to respond to issues with agility.
Here are some great tips that will show you how to develop stronger commercial awareness.
With leadership and decision making comes accountability. By demonstrating accountability in your role, it’s likely that you’ll reinforce your team members’ trust in your abilities and inspire them to be accountable themselves. This behavior not only builds a culture of integrity but it ultimately underpins productivity.
How Viewpath helps
With features like Easy Project Scheduling, Resource Capacity Planning Tools and Real-Time Cloud Collaboration, among others, our project management solution helps you and your team members remain accountable with instant visibility and clear roadmapping.
To find out more about how our solution can help you be the best project manager you can be, click here for a free trial.