Project Manager Skills For Better, Smoother Workflows
As a project manager, you are the traffic control for your team’s crossfuntional efforts. You must be able to direct workflows, kickoff projects, and delegate effectively. Besides the technical skills, the best project managers also possess high emotional intelligence (EQ) professional and soft skills. These are the project manager skills that help you communicate clearly, balance your day-to-day responsibilities, and juggle the needs of your team.
What Soft Project Manager Skills are the Most Vital for Success?
Project managers have a variety of skills that make them great assets. While every project manager should have a certain technical know-how, it’s your non-technical skills that will ensure your projects’ success.
Here are some of the most common project manager skills that are shared by the best project managers:
- Body Language: Project managers convey a lot through their nonverbal cues, and that means knowing how to convey openness and approachability through your facial expressions, gestures, and body posture.
- Candor: The ability to level with your colleagues in a forthright, truthful manner is one of the best ways a project manager can lead by example. Candor is also one of the keys to easing the anxiety of team members and developing trust.
- Communication: No project manager can thrive without strong interpersonal communication skills. Clear communication helps you create plans, establish goals, develop strategies, and build effective bridges with stakeholders in your project.
- Delegation: A project manager who can’t delegate effectively will be especially ineffective. The inability to delegate tasks, responsibilities, and authority to others not only demonstrates a lack of inclusion and trust, but also wastes the talents of your team.
- Empathy: Empathy is what empowers you to connect with other people on an emotional level that often transcends verbal or written communication. When you show empathy, you connect with people on a deeper level and inspire confidence and loyalty.
- Inclusiveness: Project managers have to know how to make every team member feel valued and heard. Knowing how to be inclusive makes sure that you aren’t allowing any individual’s voice to be silenced.
- Influence: Getting buy-in from cross-functional partners will make or break your project. People prefer to contribute to projects that they’re invested in, whether it’s effort, time, or ideas.
- Listening: Everyone appreciates when they’re being heard. When you have good listening skills, everyone on your team will feel like their opinion is respected even if you don’t ultimately adopt their point of view.
- Multitasking: Project managers wear many hats. You have to simultaneously lead your team, fill in the gaps in expertise whenever there’s a need, and keep all stakeholders informed of your progress. There are a large number of tasks that have to be completed in a limited amount of time you have. Multitasking ability makes you a competitive asset.
- Presentation Skills: One of the key sources of stress for any project manager or team is the inevitable presentation to your manager, team, or clients. Knowing how to deliver and engage in constructive feedback is a fantastic way to show your worth.
- Resourcefulness: As a project manager, your resourcefulness is always going to be tested. Resourcefulness encourages critical thinking in those around you and helps you overcome challenges that comes your way.
- Resilience: It’s a rare project that doesn’t experience an occasional setback or challenge. How you respond to those setbacks and challenges is a large part of how others will judge your abilities as a project manager. Your team will also rely on you for cues when approaching obstacles. If you show resilience, so will they.
- Responsiveness: A huge part of any project manager’s daily job revolves around responding to requests for information or assistance. Whether the need is being communicated from your manager or your team members, knowing how to quickly and accurately follow up to questions is a vital part of your role.
- Strategic Thinking: As a project manager, you must be able to determine scope and creative ideas to accomplish a project. You have the responsibility for directing the path between the starting point and the finish line.
- Supportiveness: Your team needs your support, but they won’t turn to you for it unless you know how to give it. If you aren’t supportive enough, your team may keep secrets from you that could ultimately damage your goals or delay your project.
- Verbal Communication: As a project manager, you have to communicate with a variety of people on all kinds of subjects. Knowing how to modulate your tone of voice, the speed and volume of your speech, and your vocabulary is an indispensable skill.
- Vision: As a project manager, you need to inspire a shared vision among your team in order to convey ideas and bring them into reality.
How Can Matter Help You Evolve Your Project Manager Skills?
Regular feedback is the number one way that project managers can develop these professional and soft skills. Even if you get feedback from your manager, that feedback may be limited in scope and far too irregular to allow you to make constructive use of the information in real-time.
Consistent, actionable feedback is needed to make micro changes in your communication style, body language, leadership methods, and the other elements of your work. When you have access to genuine feedback and constructive advice in a 360-degree perspective, you will gain a better understanding of how others see you and your skills as a project manager.
Regular feedback makes it possible for you to grow, change, and develop into the best possible version of yourself that you can be. You will learn how to hone your natural talents while also demystifying the process of nurturing the skills that come less easily to you.
Matter makes it possible for you to get the feedback you need. Matter’s 360-degree feedback platform makes it easy to embrace growth and monitor your performance against your personal goals. Matter helps you reach your potential and develop transferable skills that will last a lifetime.