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9 vital (but often overlooked) project management skills

Jessica Fender

In the modern business environment, there is increasing attention on leadership. We can observe a shift from project management to project leadership. Truth be told, not everyone is a leader. It’s simply a role that’s not temperament and personality fit for everyone. Still, we can all work and nurture project management skills that will take us closer to being the best possible project leader

Often, job listings and position descriptions list the usual skills a project manager must have. However, here are some of the skills, virtues and values of amazing project managers that often get overlooked.

Example-setting

As a project manager and a person in a leadership position, you have to lead by example. This is something that goes without saying and will never be included in your position description, but it’s a very important aspect of your work. 

Always be ready to lend a helping hand to your colleagues. Make sure every member of your team understands what you are deciding and why are you doing so. Also, if you want to discourage certain behavior among your team members, don’t do it yourself. For example, if you’re always late, don’t expect others to be on time. 

 

Tidiness

People usually talk about organization skills and attention to detail, but tidiness is often a prerequisite from both. Just remember Jordan Peterson’s “clean your room” advice! If you’re messy, the people you’re working with will think it is ok to be disorganized too. When you’re organized, you’ll be much more productive and reflect the same values on your team members.

 

Priority focus

Don’t pressure yourself and worry about the details. Too many details and overworking can trap you in the worst possible timing during the project. Rather, aim to focus on your top three priorities than the last 30. Your ability to make sure that priority tasks get finished first will be one of the most important aspects of your work. 

You should also practice prioritization in smaller chunks of the project for maximum efficiency. Instead of dividing the project into big sections, go as small as you can in terms of the effort necessary to finish the task. Then, order by urgency or importance and start building from there.

 

Ability to delegate tasks

If you think you can do it all, you’re dead wrong. Make sure that the people you’re working with feel like it’s their project, too. If you feel burnt out or exhausted, you can also outsource some tasks to independent professionals.

 

Responsibility

Project managers should be the most responsible people on their team. That’s not to say that developers can get away with not being responsible. Everyone on the team should be responsible for his or her own tasks. But by setting this example and always sticking to your actions, your team members will follow and adopt the same virtue.

 

Gentle communication

It’s obvious that a project manager needs to have very high communication skills, in terms of efficiency and goal-orienteers. However, HR experts and psychologists often fail to mention that being nice is just as important as being effective in communication. Keep it concise, clear, and always keep the other person’s perspective in mind before you say something.

As a project manager, you should communicate only those pieces of info that are on a need-to-know basis. In times of crisis, it can be especially hard to determine where this line is.

 

Active listening

Any great speaker will tell you that the art of communication lies more in the ability to listen than in the skill of talking. If your conversations are always a monologue, not only will you not learn anything new or see different perspectives, but you will often end up out of the loop regarding what’s happening in the project. 

 

Team spirit

Project managers should, before everything else, be people-people. Projects and all of their intricacies might be a part of your daily routine, but you wouldn’t get anywhere without your team members. 

In order to succeed and be a real leader, you have to know your people and be aware of their virtues, flaws, and needs.

 

Conference call savvy

Finally, we come to the most overlooked skill of all – and one that’s proven to be immensely valuable during the coronavirus crisis – the ability to manage and direct conference calls. Successful project managers who lead remote teams need to have this skill developed to the max. You’ll be the one everyone turns to for guidance or to sort everything out if the call starts getting messy.

Start a conference call just as you would a normal meeting: set an agenda and read it, and don’t let speakers get too side-tracked with off-topic rambling. This might sound easy, but if you were ever a part of a conference call with more than 5 people, you know that it can get crazy.

Conclusion

Being a strong and successful project manager is about so much more than just technical skills. You need to possess a wide array of skills, knowledge, and abilities. Next to the classic ones that every job listing will be looking for, there are also these skills that get overlooked. On your next job interview, be sure to accentuate some of these, too.

 

About the author: Jessica Fender is a content manager for AllTopReviews and a professional blogger. She is responsible for writing best online essay writing services reviews and developing marketing content for the website. Jessica is also interested in people development and improving business processes. She’s written extensively on project management and leadership. 

 

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