A question that is often asked during training for project managers is “What qualities are most important in order to be an effective project leader?” It’s certainly a question that makes people think. Here are some of the most important qualities that employers look for in a successful project manager.
They have vision
A good description of someone who is an effective project leader is that they are a person with vision, they know what they want and how to get their ideas across. They thrive on change and have the ability to create new boundaries. They also enable team members to feel that they have a stake in the project that is being worked on. If you feel you are lacking in vision then you could work on this listen to others and work on being able to put your ideas into words so that others will know what you are thinking about.
We mention this a lot, but communication really is one of the most important, if not the most important, quality that a project manager needs. The ability to communicate with people at every level is hugely important. A good project manager is able to communicate clearly on the topics of goals, performance, responsibility, expectations, and feedback.
While communication is a skill that can be difficult to learn properly; some people are natural communicators whilst others are not, there are things that you can do to improve your communication skills. The key thing to consider when attempting to improve your communication is in fact listening, the two go hand in hand and if you listen to those around you and think about what is discussed then you should, over time, be able to improve your communication skills.
The actions of a project leader, not their words, are what sets out the way in which a teamwork. Good leadership requires not only commitment to but also demonstration of the appropriate ethical practises. It is important to create these standards, live by them and reward those members of the team who exemplify them.
Learning the skills needed in project management will help you when it comes to putting these types of practice into the work that you do as a project manager. But integrity is something that comes with the confidence you know what you’re doing so it can take some time to develop.
There is no place for negativity in project management – this is a trait that can bring everyone down. A good leader is enthusiastic about their role and this instils enthusiasm in those around them. If someone has a “can do” attitude then their team are more likely to follow them. This is the type of person who is committed to attaining their goal and communicates it to their team member.
It can be difficult to feign enthusiasm for something that you don’t feel is going to go the way you need it to, or even for something that is outside your realm of expertise. If you don’t feel that you can muster the appropriate level of enthusiasm for a project, then perhaps it is not the right one for you.