7 Soft Skills Every Project Manager Needs to Master
To be a successful project manager, you need a certain set of technical abilities as well as soft skills that can help overcome inherent project management challenges – from scope creep to delays and conflicts among team members.
Here are nontechnical skills every project should master:
Every successful project begins with a manager who’s able to listen and pay attention to what other people say. Listening is the key to learning and engaging with both the team and clients. When you ask the right questions and listen carefully to what people have to say, you get a deeper understanding of clients’ needs. This is a crucial factor if you want to deliver a quality product, ensure its acceptance and customer satisfaction.
No.2: Being proactive
Being initiative and proactive is an essential skill for people leading teams. Project managers should not wait to be asked for budget estimates, schedules or status updates – they should always be ready to tell the team and other stakeholders what to expect ahead.
No.3: Being organised
Keeping track of multiple tasks, decisions, milestones is a must-have skill for any project manager. You need to be organised to have all these “moving” parts under control, ensure that everything runs smoothly and the team has all resources to meet clients’ needs in a timely manner.
No.4: Effective communication
It goes without saying that a PM’s primary role is a communicator. A clear communication style that is tailored to reach the audience and keep it informed should be one of the top priorities for project managers. Otherwise, many complex projects will be set to failure from the very beginning.
No.5: Attention to details
Every PM should keep in mind that no detail is too small when it comes to keeping the project on track. Just don’t let them overwhelm you and lose the bigger picture of what your project is expected to deliver.
Successful project managers know they can’t do everything themselves. You should know your teams’ strengths and their current workload, and delegate work to those who have knowledge, skills and time to perform it in the best way possible.
Project management always involves a certain amount of chaos. Feedback is not always positive, and some changes can come out of the blue. Being flexible and knowing how to stay calm under pressure and adapt quickly is what distinguishes great PMs and helps their teams deliver a project as required by the customer.