3 Major Skills Every Project Manager Needs to Succeed

communications management people project integration management resource management Oct 03, 2021
3 Major Skills Every Project Manager Needs to Succeed

To be successful, project managers need many different and diverse skills, ranging from expertise in their industry to business, and of course, project management technical skills.  Someone recently asked my what major skills project managers need.

To respond to this question, I grouped the most important into three major categories.  Without developing these skills, it is unlikely a project manager will be able to succeed. And here are some of the best of past tips to grow and master these three skill categories.

Communications:  It's been said that up to 90% of the work of a project manager is related to communications ... and it's not just about talk!  In fact, the most successful project managers will likely spend a large percentage of time listening - listening to ideas, listening to requirements, listening to feedback, and more.  There will also be plenty of need for writing skills as well to document plans, write reports, and develop presentations and speeches. To learn more about the skill requirements, you may want to check out some of our past entries:

The Ultimate Guide to Effective Communication Plans

Get Your Listening Skills in GEAR!

5 Tips to Improve Executive Presentations

Interpersonal: Just as with communications, there are many different interpersonal skills, but the three that are in constant use are delegation, negotiation, and conflict resolution.  Delegation is the skill required to effectively make work assignments that team members will complete. Be sure to check out 4 Steps to Diligent Delegation and 5 Common Barriers to Successful Delegation for tips on handling these situations.

Negotiation is also important.  As the project progresses, they inevitably get off track.  Getting them back on track will mean having the ability to negotiate budgets, time, resources, work assignments, and more. An example of the need for negotiation skills can be found in The Time Frame for Total Project Completion.

Conflict resolution is another important interpersonal skill.  You will need to learn how to harness constructive conflict to promote creativity and innovation while minimizing destructive conflict. Be sure to check out 5 Tips for Effective Conflict Resolution.

Team Building and Leadership: As a project manager, you will need to lead without authority. To do so, you will need to demonstrate integrity, build trust with the team, and be seen as a leader. If your team cannot see their way clear to follow you, it will be difficult to lead a project to success.  Be sure to check out:

5 Tips for Leaders to Motivate Their Teams

6 Tips for Team and Leadership Success

5 Tips for Improving Your PM Leadership

5 Tips to Master Expectancy Theory to Improve Leadership

These have just been highlights.  To succeed as a project manager, you will need to take a deeper dive into each of these skills and continuously improve your knowledge.


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