Soft skills every Project Manager should have
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By Rebecca Langdon
There is an ongoing and lively debate on whether soft or hard skills are more important for a
Project Manager to possess. The reality is that a successful Project Manager will have both.
Project Management is a profession where a qualification is often expected by employers, which
should provide a minimum standard of technical/hard skills.
The role of a project manager is varied, and the stakeholders they interact with will also typically
be at every echelon of the organisation. The impact of this is that soft skills are incredibly
important. In itself studying for a professional qualification can also develop softer skills such as
drive, determination, and curiousness.
These are my top 3 soft skills that every Project Manager should have:
Every project manager I have ever worked with has had a large workload. This may include
juggling multiple projects, a host of stakeholders, and a large variety of documentation, and
reporting requirements. Being organised is absolutely paramount to succeed. Everybody has a
different way to organise themselves and their time, and there is no one size fits all. For some it
is keeping a list, whereas for others it might be blocking out certain times in their day to do
particular tasks. The key is to find what works and stick to it.
Whether the communication is verbal or written, Project Managers spend the majority of their
time communicating. They have a responsibility to organise the human resources within their
project, and managing updates to stakeholders. They need to communicate frequently,
efficiently, and clearly. They will also be communicating with individuals at all levels, inside and
outside of the organisation.
Projects change and deviate from the original plan; and that is a fact. It may be a change of
budget, or key stakeholders, or indeed the project may be cancelled altogether. A project
manager needs to be flexible and adapt quickly.
To recap, a successful Project Manager needs technical and soft skills. Softer skills are often part
of one’s nature, and can be developed over time. Technical skills can be taught and you may
consider some formal PMP training.
Click here to learn about our Project Management Professional (PMP) Credential and get what it
takes to become a brilliant PM!