Effective communication, exceptional problem-solving abilities, and a true passion for the profession are some of the qualities that can help you become a successful project manager. But if you really want to build your reputation as a strong project manager, then you must comprehend the goals of the company while leading employees to achieve them. Here are some top project management skills that are in demand along with tips to help develop them.
Collaborating to achieve the goals of an organization is the essence of productivity, and it usually requires a great project manager to keep employees aligned on these goals. Strong communication is often considered the most important skill for project managers since they spend up to 90% of their time at work sharing and receiving information. They know how to create a complete communications framework to enable efficient communication with employees, stakeholders, executives, and clients. Although knowing when and how to say something tends to get more focus, a communication skill that can make project managers really standout is mindful listening. The content of messages is still important, but you’ll gain even more insight by examining body language, facial expressions, and tone.
Another skill that separates strong project managers from average ones is their ability to decide what is best for the organization even when it’s based on conflicting data. Critical thinking requires a distinct skill set ranging from analysis and interpretation to problem-solving and explanation. Here are some exercises that you can do to improve your critical thinking ability:
- Work backward – Work on a problem from end to beginning to discover issues that might otherwise be ignored.
- Confront cognitive biases – The best way to work around biases is by identifying and challenging them.
- Leverage different mediums – If you always use a visual medium to solve problems try using auditory the next time to gain a different perspective.
But surrounding yourself with other critical thinkers on a regular basis is probably the best way to broaden this skill.
One of the biggest challenges that project managers face is making sure that employees complete their work on time without getting burned out. Project managers who know how to assign realistic goals and delegate tasks effectively are always in high demand. Here are some ways to improve time management:
- Avoid micromanaging – Instead of focusing on all of the details, concentrate on steering the project to the desired outcome.
- Stay in your lane – Manage the project 100% of the time with task delegation.
- Team meetings – Leverage this time for brainstorming solutions, soliciting fresh ideas, etc. Use group messaging to provide status updates.
Good project managers become great leaders by avoiding micromanagement, growing their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and knowing how to manage time effectively. Developing these skills will make you in-demand with hiring managers and recruiters.
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