“Learning how to learn is life’s most important learning skill”
Every business needs a project manager that can be accountable for handling all the major and minor projects that contribute to the growth of the company. This is the reason, project management is one of the fastest-growing careers all around the globe.
In fact, as per PMI (Project Management Institute), there are over 16.5 million project managers in the world. Adding further, there will be 22 million new project management job openings through 2027. Now the question pops up: if there are so many project managers and so many job opportunities, how will you stand out from the crowd?
The contemporary world is transforming at a rampant pace and so are the skill set demands of every career. Hence, the answer to the above question is that it is the latest skill sets of project management that will help you differentiate yourself from such a highly competitive enterprise world.
That being said, this blog will effectively highlight the top learning skills for project managers that will assist you in enhancing your brand value in the future and beyond. So let us dive right into the blog without further ado.
5 Essential Skills To Become a Successful Project Manager
1. Project Planning Skills
It is no hidden fact that planning skills are the core facet of project management and this skill set will remain the top essential skill irrespective of what the future holds. Planning skills are not only about how you will manage the whole execution.
There are several aspects that need to be taken into consideration before executing the project.
- Time Management – Every project comes with a deadline and execution of every aspect of every project takes its own time. So it is really essential to foster effective time management skills to get the most efficient results. In managing your time, you take assistance from the Pareto Principle. It will help you in prioritizing and managing your tasks in a better manner.
- Budgeting – Money management is another important aspect that comes under project planning skills because even billionaires think twice before spending every dollar so why don’t you need it? It is essential to effectively manage your budget and arrange resources as per requirements.
- Data Visualization – In the modern world, if you have insights, you are powerful. But in order to extract insights, you need the skills to understand and visualize data effectively. Effective knowledge and practice of all these skills will assist you in effectively managing and planning your overall project in the most efficient and effective manner.
2. Leadership Skills
Irrespective of the fact whether you are managing a team of 100 people or 10 people, the only thing that will contribute to successfully executing the plan are your leadership skills as a project manager. As per John Maxwell, a true leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
As a leader, you should have the ability to lead by example because, in everything you do, your team is going to imitate you. So it is first you who have to hold them accountable for your actions. This way you will be able to motivate your team members to perform well. Then only you will be able to delegate further responsibilities to your team.
Moreover, as a leader, you need to foster effective communication skills among yourself to effectively communicate the roles and responsibilities to your team. Moreover, more than hear you need to take more practical approaches while making the right decisions.
As a project manager, there will be times when you need to take tough calls, so you need to make most of your decisions using practical approaches. But of course, there are exceptions.
However, businesses also focus on hiring project managers that possess good leadership qualities. As per statistics, 79% of organizations prioritize leadership skills while recruiting project managers.
Thinking that you are always right is the biggest wrong any project manager can do. So another skill that is crucial to excelling as a project manager is adaptability. To elaborate, adaptability is the ability to be flexible enough to adapt to change.
Let us try to understand through an example how adaptability is crucial in an organization. Let’s assume that you have to handle a team of 7 people but they are not happy with your leadership style.
Now here you have two choices, you can either force them to follow your style or you can communicate and understand the problem and adapt the style they would be more comfortable with. If you will be rigid then it can impact your employees’ morale negatively and can contribute to their disengagement.
If you will be adaptable to changes, you will be able to handle things and tasks more efficiently. Moreover, when you will keep yourself open to learning and adaptable to the situations, you will also learn some new things yourself that will contribute to your own well-being and self-improvement.
Moreover, reacting and adjusting to the environment as per the situation will also assist in managing the risk more efficiently. The reason is if you will be able to accept the situation and change yourself as per the situation, you will mitigate the risk of damage.
4. Critical thinking
As you will be in charge of handling major or minor projects contributing to the growth of an organization, it is important to critically examine the whole scenario and then reach a conclusion. Otherwise, imagine the repercussions of the decisions you made with only half the information.
Hence, as a project manager, it is essential for you to critically analyze the situation, examine all the possible perspectives, and then reach a conclusion. Critically examining will not only give you the right path but will also enhance the efficiency of your overall decision-making process.
However, in order to understand and analyze the situation, it is necessary to practice active listening skills. Practicing this skill will assist you in effectively listening to all the important pieces of information so that you do not miss the crucial parts.
Moreover, when you will listen and consider the opinions of everyone involved, it will assist in building strong trusting relationships among the team. Besides, we all know how important trust is for effective collaboration in team management.
Furthermore, when active listening skills are combined with critical thinking, it will lead to more effective and efficient outcomes.
5. Emotional Intelligence
The contemporary world has realized the importance of emotional intelligence and that is the reason it is getting widely accepted all around the globe. In fact, as per statistics, 78% of the project managers have enhanced the use of EQ in order to lead successful team projects.
For those who are not aware, emotional intelligence refers to the ability to manage the emotions of oneself and understand the feelings of others. In order to successfully manage a team of people, it is essential to foster high EQ.
To elaborate, EQ has the below-mentioned 5 components and in order to enhance your emotional intelligence, you need to take all components together to get efficient outcomes.
- Self-Awareness – When you know yourself, you will understand others well. Besides, project managers need to be aware of their capabilities in order to take responsibility and accountability for their actions.
- Self-Motivation – Self-motivation will assist in building self-confidence in you and will assist you in managing your team more effectively.
- Self Regulation – The ability to regulate your emotions will assist you in critical thinking and will make your decisions more foolproof.
- Empathy – Practicing empathy is really crucial for becoming a good project manager because it will assist in understanding the other opinion as well. It will assist in fostering positive relationships among teams.
- Social skills – Having great social skills will assist you as a project manager to communicate well with your team verbally as well as non-verbally.
To encapsulate, fostering the latest skills as a project manager is the need for today. Hence, the need is to effectively identify the latest skills and practice them for becoming a better version of yourself. Moreover, mastering the above-mentioned skills will assist you in acing in the career of mastering a career in project management.