To be a successful project manager, a variety of soft and hard skills are needed.  Soft skills can be developed through education or work experience.  At the same time, hard skills need to be acquired through formal project management training.

Some people have innate project management skills, while some have to learn them.  If you want to carve a rewarding project management career, identify and hone the following six project management skills which every successful project manager has.

6 Skills Every Successful Project Manager Has

Leadership Skills

Strong leadership skills are essential for being a successful project manager.  Being a productive, motivating, and exemplary leader of your project, you take it forward smoothly and deliver excellent results.  Leadership skills help foster an encouraging and positive work environment where tasks get assigned in a systematic manner, and rational goals are set.  Under the mentorship and execution of a capable leader, the project is completed effectively.

Communication Skills

Communication is the core of the project manager’s work profile.  It involves team briefing, project kick-off, stakeholder meetings, project reviews, reporting to seniors, and so on.  The project manager should be able to articulate his vision and instructions clearly, to successfully lead the project to completion.

Negotiation Skills

A project manager needs to negotiate with the suppliers and some other parties.  He has to be a skillful negotiator who keeps both sides content and creates a win-win situation for all involved.  Savvy project managers know how to manage budgets, handle resources and prevent extra spending.

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Time Management Skills

Time management is not rocket science.  It is coordinating and managing the tasks in such a way that efficiency is maximized and tasks are completed in the stipulated time.  Lack of proper time management skills creates roadblocks for the project.  A project manager with high time management skills completes the project precisely and on time.  With his prioritizing abilities and schedule management, he helps save precious time and money and avoids unnecessary tensions and stress.

Risk Management Skills

The basic aspects of risk management skills are the ability to identify risks, measure them, appreciate their consequences and then take action accordingly.  As a result-oriented project manager, you should strategize to minimize or eliminate the risks.  Risks are uncertain, so a wise project manager is trained to anticipate them and plan ahead to overcome them.

Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skill enables a project manager to navigate through any type of project, may it be simple, complex, tricky, or multi-dimensional.  A proactive project manager with critical thinking skills becomes a good problem solver.  He or she encourages productive discussions, develops better solutions, and achieves better results, faster.

How to Develop key Project Management Skills?

  • Learn the skills and practice and refine them by applying them in your day-to-day work.
  • Take professional training or attend relevant courses, seminars, or workshops.
  • Earn a certificate or a degree or do a project management course online from a reputed institute.
  • Take on more tasks, get more hands-on experience and keep learning from your seniors or mentors.
  • Ask for feedback from your teams, seniors, sub-ordinates, or associates.
  • Incorporate and participate in various types of team-building exercises.
  • Chalk out your skill improvement program and stick to it.
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Acquiring these project management skills would help not only in your professional environment but also in your personal life.  These skills have the capacity to simplify any complex situation and handle it in an optimum manner.