Five Essential Skills the Best Project Managers Possess

Monday, March 17, 2014 - 12:00


Of course all project managers need to know how to manage a project, and this means they need to be expert in the key project management knowledge areas covered in basic project management training.

But the best project managers have additional skills that help make their projects a success. Have you got these skills, and if you do, are you using them as effectively as you could?

1. The ability to inspire – and communicate that inspiration

The best project managers are not only passionate themselves but also inspire enthusiasm in those around them. If you are able to communicate your vision effectively to your team, so that everyone’s on the same page and striving for one goal, success will come that much easier.

2. The ability to delegate

The mantra, “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself” will never be uttered by the best project managers. Instead, those who truly excel in this field need to know their team well enough to understand their individual strengths and weaknesses, and know who would be most suited to performing certain tasks.

But it’s important to note too that the “ability to delegate” also means knowing when not to delegate—in other words, when you need to roll up your sleeves and play a part yourself.

3. The ability to solve problems

No matter how carefully you plan or how skilled your team is, chances are something will go wrong with your project at some point. Of course you need to factor risk into your project plan, but you also need to be able to keep a cool head, make important decisions and handle problems before they get out of control.

4. The ability to listen

As a project manager you need to make your voice heard, but you also need to be able to listen effectively. This will demonstrate to your team that you respect their opinions and it will increase their commitment to the project.

5. The ability to reward

You need to give praise where praise is due; otherwise your team may become disheartened and disconnected from their work. It’s important to recognise and reward your workers when they do something right, as this will motivate both them and others to push themselves further.

If your project management skills could be refreshed, AIM offers a variety of project management training options to suit your level and availability. Take a look at our project management qualifications and short courses.