8 Essential Interpersonal Skills Project Manager Must Have!
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This presentation talks about the 8 essential interpersonal skills that a project manager must understand and practice. This topic is part of PMBOK (Tools and Techniques of Manage Project Team and Develop Project Team processes from Project Human Resources Management knowledge area) and is helpful in your preparation for PMP or CAPM certification exams. Or you can use this to understand more about project management.
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8 Essential Interpersonal Skills Project Manager Must Have!
A guide to passing PMP® exam! series..8 Essential Interpersonal SkillsProject Manager Must Have!Based on the PMBOK® bookFor a free eBook on Project Management, and brain-friendlynotes for PMP® and CAPM® certification examsvisit www.PMExamSmartNotes.comBrought to you bywww.PMExamSmartNotes.com
LeadershipEffective leadership is not about makingspeeches or being liked; leadership isdefined by results not attributes.-Peter Drucker
Leadership is an essentialcharacteristic of project manager.PMBOK® defines leadership as theability to get things done throughothers. In a good way. By inspiringpeople work towards achievingproject’s objectives.
Well, different managers havedifferent styles. One way to do this isby conveying team members vision ofthe project and the value they will becreating by successfully completing theproject.
Leadership is also about showing peoplehow they can achieve their own objectivesby aligning them to projects objectives.For instance, if a senior engineer on theteam has a career goal of becomingTechnical Architect, show him that bygetting involved in the design phase of thisproject and by putting in additional effortto acquire required knowledge he cangrow into that role.
Team BuildingNone of us is as smart as all of us.- Ken Blanchard
A project involves different people such ascustomer, sponsor, vendor, consultant, PMO,quality assurance team, and management.The core team that does project workinteracts with most of these people, andmore importantly with each other on theteam day after day. It is important that teammembers feel safe, collaborate well andtrust each other. The goal of team buildingexercises is to develop a project environmentthat helps people bond with each other.
MotivationMotivation will almost always beat meretalent.- Norman Augustine
When people know that their work is making adifference - to the customer, end users, company,as well as themselves – it motivates them.People have personal and professional needs andgoals, and they need to be satisfied on that front.For some it may be the financial compensation, forsome it is getting a sense of accomplishment, forsome it could be promotion and for others it couldbe recognition of their hard work.Knowing what motivates each of your teammembers and helping them get those things willkeep the whole team motivated.
Refer to the presentation ‘5Motivational Project ManagerMust Know!’ to know about howyou can keep your team motivated,or read this post.
CommunicationThe single biggest problem incommunication is the illusion that it hastaken place.- George Bernard Shaw
Communication is a two way street. Open andhonest communication from top-down willensure the same bottom-up.Which means to say that when project managercommunicates decisions and informationtransparently with the team, team membersfeels comfortable about opening up with themanager about their concerns and issues.Open communication practice builds mutualtrust amongst team members.
Project manager should identify efficientcommunication channels with each of thestakeholders, keep cultural differences inperspective and communicate informationon a regular basis.Refer to lessons in Project CommunicationManagement knowledge area tounderstand about communication model,types and methods that you can use inyour project.
Active Listening is a communication techniquewhere listener gives constant feedback to thespeaker, by nodding and re-stating what she hasunderstood and making sure that the messagehas been communicated as intended.To practice active listening the listener shouldovercome the urge to waiting to speak andinstead focus on really understanding what isbeing spoken, and channelize her energies torelay back the communicated information byparaphrasing in her own words.
InfluencingExample is not the main thing ininfluencing others. It is the only thing.- Albert Schweitzer
Influencing is about using your relationshipwith team members effectively to ensurethey collaborate and cooperate well onmaking right decisions and achievingproject goals.Easiest way to influence team members isto lead by example. If project managerexpects team to turn up early for work shecan start doing it herself.
Keep teams interest in mind while makingdecisions and let them know. Whendecisions do not go in their favor, theywould respect you for your effort.Click here to read the post on 5 Types ofPower that project manager must knowabout.
Decision MakingDecision is a sharp knife that cuts cleanand straight; indecision, a dull one thathacks and tears and leaves raggededges behind it.- Gordon Graham
Decision making is all about the way projectmanager handles issues on the project.These are few basic techniques in decision-making:1. Command - this type of decision making isauthoritative. Project managers decision isfinal, and team is expected to follow it.2. Consultation - you consult your teammembers and stakeholders and then takethe most rational decision in the bestinterest of the project.
3. Consensus – you take a decision that appealsto the majority of the team. This may not bethe best way to make decision becausedecision of majority may not necessarily bein the best interest of the project.4. Coin-flip (random decision) - this is the leastpreferred one and best avoided. Decisionsmade using this technique do not generallygain respect of team members, since there isno reasoning involved.
1. Define problem in a clear and concise way2. Brainstorm multiple solutions and ensure that decisionis not taken in haste3. Define evaluation criteria, explore pros and cons of eachof the alternatives, choose the best solution4. Figure out who are involved in implementing solutionand who gets affected, involve them to gain acceptanceof this solution5. After implementing the solution, analyze, evaluate andlist lessons learnt6. Evaluate to what extent project objectives wereachieved by this solutionSix-phase decision-making model
Some teams are geographically split (virtualteams), and some teams are co-located butconsists of people from different culturalbackground.Knowing every team member and theirbackground helps project manager create anenvironment that they feel most comfortableworking in.Project politics can be a positive or negativefactor for the team. Project manager shouldensure that authority is used skillfully and in theright manner by self and other senior memberson the team.
NegotiationNegotiation means getting the best ofyour opponent.- Marvin Gaye
Negotiation is a good conflict resolution skill.While there are issues on the project, you as aproject manager should listen to both theparties and make decisions in a fair and justmanner. And ensure that both parties knowabout this.While negotiating it may not be always possibleto please both parties. Attempt for a win-winsituation for both parties, where each one iswilling to compromise to certain extent in orderto come to a resolution.
References• 8 Essential soft-skills That Make a ProjectManager• 5 Types of Power You Can Use As A ProjectManager!• Project Communication Managementknowledge area• 5 Motivational Theories a Project ManagerMust Know!
PMI is a registered trademark and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.PMP is a registered certification mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.PMBOK is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.For more study notes for PMP® and CAPM® examsvisit http://www.PMExamSmartNotes.comThank you!