Project managers are oftentimes a jack of all trades, juggling organizational and interpersonal skills effectively. They sometimes work unsociable hours to refine the business plan while being optimistic and exuding energy and joy in the office. You too can get more out of project management and become not only a better manager but a better version of yourself. Here are eight effective ways project managers achieve more:

1. They listen effectively to the people around them.

As a project manager, you should check first and foremost whether your team members handle their tasks efficiently, whether they are content and satisfied with their input and work environment, or whether they have ideas to improve or optimize the current tasks. Listening engenders a humble attitude – you have to stop talking for a change and hear your team out. You have to stop thinking about your reaction or reply as you are hearing someone out, and actually listen to their message. Another thing you can do is to shift your focus on them. Ask them often about their input and ideas. This is a great way of finding out their strengths and weaknesses, and also about their work style. Try to validate their ideas if they are good, and nicely critique their work. This way, brainstorming will actually be effective and you will soak all those ideas up. Not only will you understand your team better, but they will probably feel more comfortable around you and possibly more creative and engaged. Listening effectively works incredibly well with the next aspect:

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2. They are more emotionally intelligent than their peers.

Understanding what your clients and stakeholders want is not as easy as it seems, although not impossible. While some are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, thankfully, emotional intelligence can be learned to a certain extent. The first step to reading others is knowing yourself. Understand your emotions and do not let them out of control. If you feel a bit under the weather, do not let the bad mood ruin other people’s day. Exude confidence even if you are not feeling particularly like an achiever. There’s this saying, “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic”. At the same time, do not force yourself to be someone you are not. Be true to yourself, yet flexible and teachable if you sincerely want to grow.

3. They know how to regulate their emotions

Know your emotions and control your impulses. If you know you cannot handle stress well or that you cannot cope with a heavy workload, say no to proposals that you feel might hinder you from your project. Stressed people are more irritable and critical than normal. They act before they think because their judgment gets clouded by overexertion or frustration. How do you normally react to stressful situations? Do you get upset, cuss and blame others even if it is not their fault? Do you slam doors and fire people on a whim? Hopefully not. Learn how to manage these impulses. A lot can be said about emotional intelligence. Here’s why the resurgence of EQ will trend in 2018.

Effective Communication

4. They know how to treat stakeholders and clients.

Achieving project managers know how to treat stakeholders. They keep key individuals in the loop by communicating efficiently by avoiding redundant e-mails, and lengthy, convoluted reports. They know how to settle disputes and maintain relationships. Stakeholders and clients are not a source of money or a pain in the neck to them, but collaborators towards project success. They neither stereotype nor judge people at first glance, but use their social skills to make stakeholders feel at ease. Highly successful project managers build relationships, because they understand that without the human component, projects inevitably fail.

5. They use one integrated communication system.

We have mentioned in an earlier post the importance of establishing one integrated communication system. Whether you choose project management software or an internet tool that you think works really well for you, make sure everyone’s on board and knows how to use it. This way you will avoid miscommunication or misinterpretations. We all hate lengthy e-mails that wind up like chain e-mails.

6. They use one integrated system that keeps track of project progress.

Granted, not everyone is tech savvy to analyze immense amounts of data and metrics to optimize their projects. Thankfully, nowadays there are specialists, apps, and even AI bots crunching the numbers for you. Knowing exactly how productive your team is or how much you are spending and on what, you will most likely be able to optimize it, or at least, apply those insights for future projects. Here are a few of the best project management tools for 2018. If one time management method fails, they try another one. Tired of underachieving team members? Even your good workers happen to fall behind work. Sometimes estimating the duration of your tasks is a hit-and-miss. Try timeboxing instead of a traditional approach to time management.

7. They ask for feedback and help.

Whether it’s asking assistance with the new project management software or getting a consultant’s help for the current project, successful project managers are flexible and teachable. Oftentimes you get the best insights during the learning process or training. Do not be afraid to ask for feedback or help.

8. They are proactive in their endeavors.

Highly motivated individuals, they take every project as a challenge to improve their problem-solving skills. They have a growth mindset and understand that it’s up to them to learn about how things work, about the latest project management software, about team work, and so on. They are productive because they choose long-term results rather than instant gratification. But most importantly, they invest a lot of time and effort in their project just as they would treat their personal endeavors.

Takeaway

These are just a few aspects and ways that project managers bear in mind in their work. Hopefully, these give insight into the skills and aspects one could work on. Take them as resolutions for 2018.

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Alexandra Martin

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