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Project managers are the leaders of projects, they plan, prioritize, arrange, organize, lead, manage, delegate, communicate, and on top of all that, deliver projects on time, upon budget, with the utmost quality, while exceeding stakeholder expectations. Besides the technical cognitive skills that Project Managers should possess, 8 essential soft skills are core for effective Project Managers.

soft skills for project managers

1. Communication

Project managers spend around 90% of their time communicating in order to make sure that the project is running smoothly from all its different dimensions and angles. Project managers need to possess proper communication skills so that they can communicate effectively and efficiently with the different stakeholders involved in a project.

They need to communicate with their team members, their higher management, their suppliers, their sub-contractors, the legal entity, and any other stakeholders involved in the project. They need to be active listeners in order to properly share the information needed throughout the different communication channels of the project. Thus, communication is a soft skill for project managers.

2. Leadership

Project Managers are also known as Project Leaders, they are the masters of the game, the running entity. They should possess leadership skills in order to lead their team members, coach them, support them, mentor them, and pave the way for them through the proper execution of the project.

No matter the leadership style followed by the PMs, leadership is an essential soft skill that outlines the role of a Project Manager.

3. Motivation

Project Managers must possess the ability to motivate their team members to work, do the job, get things done, and complete tasks. It is also known as the “will to do”, they are the main leaders who can push their members to out-perform based on their behavior.

They should be able to find smart methods and approaches to drive their people to work in a tailored manner for each and every single key member in the project.

4. Building Trust

It is essential for Project Managers to build trust among their teams, for the sake of getting the best performance out of them. They should include their members in decision making, make them feel trusted to do the tasks and work in hand.

They should properly share information with them and include them in all the open discussions around key areas within the project. Trust building is an unwavering skill that project leads must feature to build high-performing teams that yield remarkable results.

5. Conflict Management

When working in teams, conflict is avoidable due to the fact that different team members have different thoughts, feelings, perceptions, perspectives, and approaches to doing things.

As an effective project manager, the skill of conflict management is vital and provides the leader with suitable methods of resolving conflict while finding the best way forward in almost all challenging situations. 

6. Decision Making

Decisions can be classified into three main categories Strategic, Tactical, and Operational, and project managers must be well aware of all those different classifications along with having a fundamental understanding of their differences.

So, based on the type of decision that has to be made, project managers must be able to use various factors and sets of criteria to make smart and effective decisions based on the situation encountered. 

7. Time Management

One of the triple constraints of a project is time, a vital aspect of projects. The ability to effectively manage time is essential for Project Managers as they have a lot of items on their plates.

They should be capable of prioritizing tasks based on their importance on the project, be able to waive away unimportant time-wasting items so that efficiency can be met. Project managers should delegate wisely, keep track of time, and avoid last-minute calls for important project events.

8. Being Organized

Being organized is a core feature of a Project Manager, to be effective the project lead must be organized, and able to arrange components, segments along with all the different parts of the project.

Through this skill, the project manager can be able to keep track of actions, tasks, work activities, issues, conflicts, problems, risks, deliverables, different milestones, and most importantly track vital decisions without bypassing the accountability of all the involved team members on the project. 

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