Seven Ways a Project Manager can improve his People Skills
Project management is more about managing people than managing projects. So in order to become a successful project manager, you need to possess basic interpersonal skills called people skills. Therefore, it is essential for a project manager to keep working towards boosting his people skills. To improve people skills, you need to do three things- demonstrate principled behaviour, be compassionate and develop strong communication skills. Some people have an introvert personality; but to be successful in personal and professional life, you need to boost your soft skills. These skills will help you build better relationships at your workplace as well as in your social circle.
The following are the seven ways a project manager can improve his people skills:
1. Smile Often:-
A project manager has to have a positive attitude since positivity is contagious. The external sign for this would be to smile at everyone you meet. You will feel better when people reciprocate the same in return. A people’s person is able to control his inner emotions by not only appearing happy but also making people around him happy. All this goes a long way in keeping your team motivated and in good spirits.
2. Be Compassionate:-
Compassion attracts people towards you. You can show your project team that you care about them by empathizing with them during bad times and celebrating the good times. Be generous when it comes to appreciating and motivating them. Actively listen to others when they are sharing their views, opinions, suggestions and problems. Offer them some help as and when you can.
3. Develop Good Communication Skills:-
Project managers need to be able to communicate with various people at all levels within the organization. Project leadership involves clear communication on goals, responsibilities, performance expectations and feedback. Therefore, developing strong communication skills is required to ensure good relations with the project team. You can start with- being an active listener, choosing your words carefully, speaking the truth and giving clear and concrete instructions.
4. Don’t Pick Favorites:-
If you want to be a people’s person, just be open towards all and don’t pick favorites. Social personalities usually don’t differentiate between people and accept people with their limitations. They give equal importance to everyone in the team and are not partial or biased. They don’t discriminate or slander people they don't like. This behavior will earn you respect and strong support from your team.
5. Resolve Conflicts:-
Personal conflicts are inevitable. What matters is- how you react to those conflicts? To become a successful project manager, you need to possess the soft skills to resolve conflicts. This can be done by handling situations diplomatically, communicating effectively and being assertive.
6. Maintain Work-Life Balance:-
A project manager may be stressed due to the time and budget constraints of the project. However, he should not forget that his team members are people with families, social lives and personal problems. Even during most critical situations, it is important to keep in mind that your employees will work harder for you when they know that you respect their need for a fair work-life balance.
7. Make sure people have a great time with you:-
In order to build better relationships with workmates, it is important that you spend quality time with them outside the office. Don’t let opportunities like small personal or professional successes pass by without celebrating them with your team. When people have a great time with you, they are likely to enjoy spending more time with you at work too. Also, you may turnaround stressful work environments through the use of humor and making people laugh.
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