Personal skills are those vital interaction competencies for dealing with people. The complete project manager possesses the aptitude, attitude, and networking skills to interact with people and achieve results.
Early in our careers, we demonstrated negative attitudes regarding our jobs and towards the projects we managed. That negative disposition generated more problems than advantages. We created negative images of ourselves in front of colleagues, team members and managers. Results were not good—transmitting negativism to managers and team members, tarnishing our reputations, and limiting our options.
The maturing process led us to change our thinking. We needed an attitude check! By changing attitude, we changed our worlds (see Bucero, Today is a Good Day, 2010). This is a fundamental, life changing experience.
Project managers need to be able to motivate and sustain people. Project team members will look to the project manager to solve problems and help remove obstacles. Complete project managers need to be able to address and solve problems within the team, as well as those that occur outside the team. Effective networking is a vital ingredient for success.
Here is the essence of persuasive skills: it usually makes great sense to repay favors, behave consistently, follow the lead of similar others, favor the requests of those we like, heed legitimate authorities, and value scarce resources.
Being focused on your strengths is a worthy approach that helps you grow personally and professionally, more so than any other “development plan.” Make the effort to apply personal abilities to opportunities. All time and money spent to take you to the next level of excellence as a project manager and as a professional are the best investments you can make in your personal career.
Randy Englund, Englund Project Management Consultancy, www.englundpmc.com