What are some characteristics of great project managers?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Great project managers are made, not born, which is why it is so important for them to emphasize training. Luckily, project manager training programs allow candidates to hone many of the skills that they will need not only to become PMP® certified, but also to succeed on the job.

When earning PDUs, project managers should think about the following traits that will make them more effective, as listed by contributor David C. Baker on the website 99U.

Baker argues that project managers must first be able to command authority naturally, without relying on help from others. However, this includes inspiring the team, which requires maintaining a positive attitude and looking forward to coming to work.

Project managers must be able to think quickly and to constantly re-evaluate their priorities. They will almost certainly be faced with an overabundance of information, coming from meetings, emails and data collection. It is vital for them to determine which sources to consider immediately, and which to ignore. They must also be able to ask thoughtful questions about this information.

"Great project managers don't just go through the motions," Baker wrote. "They care about communication and the opinions of the parties involved."

People skills are vital, as arguments can arise in any team setting. Project managers must have the ability to be independent and find consensus among the different team members. When necessary, they should also be able to consult with networks outside of the team or company in order to bring in fresh opinions.

It may sound like a lot to remember, but as Baker pointed out, "[G]reat project managers plan, manage, and handle details in a way that lets others relax."

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