Project managers use a combination of technical, human, and conceptual skills to analyze situations and interact appropriately with team members. Using appropriate interpersonal skills aids project managers in capitalizing on the strengths of all team members.
There is a wide body of knowledge about interpersonal skills that is appropriate to project work and non-project work. That body of knowledge is too in-depth to cover in this publication. There is expanded coverage of some of the most relevant interpersonal skills used in project management in Appendix X. In this section we briefly cover some of the interpersonal skills the project managers use most often.
• Leadership. Successful projects require strong leadership skills. Leadership is important through all project phases of the project life cycle. It is especially important to communicate the vision and inspire the project team to achieve high performance.
• Influencing. Since project managers often have little or no direct authority over their team members in a matrix environment, their ability to influence stakeholders on a timely basis is critical to project success. Key influencing skills include:
o The ability to be persuasive and clearly articulate points and positions, o High levels of active and effective listening skills, o Consideration of the various perspectives in any situation, and o Gathering relevant and critical information to address important issues and reach agreements while maintaining mutual trust.
• Effective Decision Making. The ability to negotiate and influence the organization and the project management team. Some guidelines for decision making include:
o Focus on goals to be served, o Follow a decision-making process, o Study the environmental factors, o Develop personal qualities of the team members, o Stimulate team creativity, and o Manage opportunity and risk.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.