10 Traits Of An Excellent Project Manager
Do you have what it takes to be an excellent project manager? These are the 10 things your next employer is looking for…
Being a Construction Project Manager is no easy task. You’ll not only be faced with moving goals, but also specialist ‘juniors’ who think they know better in any single area. But your job is to look at the bigger picture and make sure that everyone works together to their full potential. Here are 10 qualities that will make you more employable as a project manager.
1) Know What You’re Talking About
Nobody will respect a project manager that doesn’t know what they’re talking about. You can’t expect your team to tow the line if they don’t believe your every decision is based on experience, information and insight. There’s no shortcut to success here; whether you work your way up through the ranks or qualify with distinction, you’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge up front.
2) 20/20 VISION
How can you get where you want to go if you can’t see it? You need to be able to envision the end goal of any project – but more importantly, how you’ll get there. And the real key is being able to share that vision with the people that will help you make it happen. So…
3) Talk To Your Team Effectively
Your team can only carry out your instructions if you give them a clear steer. This doesn’t just mean setting clear objectives; it also means checking in on progress and giving updates. That’s the difference between projects coming in on time, or running over budget. You can either set your workers up for success or failure – it’s all down to how well you communicate with them.
4) Divide And Conquer
You can’t do it all – even if you wanted to. Many upwardly mobile managers want to be seen as indispensible, so they try to do everything themselves. But the secret to success is to assign the right task to the right person so that the project progresses as a whole. This is delegation at its best.
Look at the skills, experience and successes of your team and get the right person to do the right job. Getting someone else to do a job you might be able to do yourself isn’t a sign of laziness – when the project exceeds expectations, you’ll be seen as someone who will encourage a team to play to their strengths.
5) Smells Like Team Spirit
You might be the best in any single field, but no construction project is the result of one person. And as a project manager, you need to not only help to gather talent, but you also need to help those individuals become a team. You should promote what every individual brings to the project, as well as suggesting ways that they can learn from one another. Recognise excellence and identify individual opportunities for education so that the team functions better as a whole.
6) Problem Solving
You know the old saying that ‘stuff’ happens? That’s never been truer than on a construction project. From availability of materials and equipment to sick leave and even the weather, a construction project manager needs to be able to roll with the punches – and come out on top! You’ll need to demonstrate flexibility, as well as an unflappable nature in the face of disaster.
The best project managers don’t react to problems as they happen though; they anticipate them and have alternate strategies in place, ready to rock. Forward thinking as a project manager is all about, ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst’.
7) Regroup And Push On
Things change. And the most successful project manager will be the one that doesn’t cling onto an existing plan – no matter how good it is – in the face of new information. When the landscape changes, so does your route, so it pays to stay on top of the latest information and evaluate how that affects how you reach your goal on an ongoing basis.
8) Priority One
You’ll be spinning a lot of plates as a project manager, but will you let the one that’s started to wobble put you off the others? Whether you’re responsible for a multi-staged project, one with multiple simultaneous strands – or both – it’s down to you to keep it all in the air. And that kind of multitasking can be stressful…
9) Project Calm, Feel Calm
You could practice meditation, prayer or just count to 10 before speaking, but when the proverbial hits the fan, you need to keep your cool – and you need to be seen to stay frosty by anyone that reports to you.
Sometimes things just won’t go your way – even with world-class planning – but what separates a capable candidate from a champion is the ability to take it in your stride. An unflappable project manager will not only get the respect of their team, but also management’s appreciation.
10) Enthusiasm Epiphany
If you want your team to go the extra mile when you need it, then you must believe in the project’s vision and share an infectious enthusiasm for it. You can’t fake this – people will smell it a mile off!
People follow people who show conviction, not those who share doubts – so if you have any, keep them to yourself. But if you’ve taken the time to ensure that you’re in the right role by speaking to Kingston Barnes about your career, then it’s a non-issue – you WILL be doing something you believe in.
Talk To Us Today
Do you have what it takes to be an outstanding project manager in construction? Then we want to hear from you. We’re looking for talented project managers right now – and we pride ourselves on helping our candidates to realise their full potential.
Call us today on 0117 325 2233 to find out how we can help, or email us at
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