Interpersonal skills of a Project Manager

by on February 18, 2012 in Course Preparation, Guests Column, PMP®, Project Management, Trainer Articles

Do we need certified project managers to run our project? Can we take a project manager with good leadership qualities? Can we take a project manager having good negotiation skills? Can we consider a project manager having very good communication skills? Actually, as a project manager you can’t categorize yourselves into any above-mentioned characteristics.

You must have to follow all the qualities … unless and until you are not having all the qualities, you can’t expect the project success at all points. May be in case of a short term project you can taste a success having very few qualities as above-mentioned, but I am sure the same result you can’t expect in case of a long term project where you have to manage a big project team and numerous stakeholders.

These all qualities altogether known as interpersonal skills. The interpersonal skills are so important that the project result depends on it directly or sometimes indirectly. Let me explain you one by one what else are the interpersonal skills that a project manager should have:

  • Team Building
  • Decision Making
  • Motivation
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation

Let me explain you above-mentioned interpersonal skills one by one in detail:

Team Building

You are running a long term project; you need a big team to execute the work. Do you think if you get the big team you can perform well in your project? It is not like that… you have to create a sense of teamwork where all the project team members will work interdependently with each other along with other leaders and stakeholders, all bound by a common guidelines and a common project objectives.

As a project manager you have to play a main role here – You have to use your interpersonal behavior on team building; you have to play a key role in case of conflict. Mind you, conflict is not always bad; it can provide a positive result as well in the project. As a project manager you should introduce a reward system based on the performance and you have to create a trust in your team.

Decision Making

As a project manager you should involve your core project team in taking any decision, but it is not always ideal to do. There are so many decision a project manager can take singlehandedly by using his or her interpersonal skills. In a project, project manager can use his or her decision on schedule constraint, quality, and acceptance criteria. Decision making is very vital for a project success; a single decision can change the fate of the project negatively or positively.

Motivation

Motivation is very much required for a project success. If your team knows the value of work, their career path with project, they will work accordingly to achieve the objectives, and you need to motivate the team in very effective way. Remember that your project teams are comprised of diverse backgrounds and different expectation, so, in that case you need to motivate your team keeping them on a single table with full consensus on the project objectives.

Communication:

Communication skill is very much required for a successful project manager. Remember, communication is your 90% of project work. So, you can’t ignore the value of good communication. Mainly you have to perform your communication skills very effectively when you are taking care of a large team and also of different geographical position.

You should follow a proper communication method to conduct the kick-off meeting, updating the feedback to the project team, updating the status report to higher management, updating the work progress report to the concerned stakeholders. All these activities you can do successfully by adopting a proper communication method.

Leadership

Leadership leads by example. And it is you who will show this caliber. You are the guardian of the project, you are the boss of the project… the entire success of the projects depends on you. Remember that leadership is the ability to get the work done through the team. You should motivate your team to fulfill the project requirement; you should build a trust among each other, so that everyone concentrates on the work and only work. You should focus the team to concentrate towards the common goal. All you can do only through a true leadership.

Negotiation

As a project manager you should be a very good negotiator. A true project manager is very good negotiator as he keeps both the parties satisfied like win-win situation … You should take care of listening and articulating very much while negotiating something. Through negotiating skill you can convince your customer on pricing, scope, schedule, and quality. So, it is always useful to be a good negotiator.
 
Author
Pradip Dwevedi,PMP
blog1 Interpersonal skills of a Project Manager

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