How to Become a Good and Effective Project Manager?
People have different ways of building their career—some take extra years or months of school to earn a doctorate or master’s degree and others had a 360-degree turn of a career change. Whatever the case, people who work hard to reach the pinnacle of their desired profession always make it a point to enhance and develop their skills by participating in seminars and workshops. You, in turn, did the same thing—but at the end of the day, nothing happens. It seems that even the company trusts you to manage a project, you still feel that your career is going nowhere and you are stuck in a rut. You applied for that senior project manager position, but you feel like it’s going to land on someone else’s lap. You might ask yourself, “What does this person have that I don’t?”.
Instead of spending all day in the corner and wallowing in grief, you need to start dusting off your skills and give them an ultimate makeover by following the tips and tricks in becoming a project manager everyone wants to work with—and bag that promotion that you deserve all along.
- Be a Real Leader
The word “leader” is often used loosely these days. To be one doesn’t just translate to being in charge of the job that involves a team, but it also means that you need to show an air of authority—a proof that is competent to handle the success and failure of the project. There are some managers who cower on their members because they oppose on his or decision. Don’t be that person. You have to stand up to your decision and emphasize to your team that the method you choose is effective. You also need to watch your tone; begging to your members shows you are needy and desperate for their approval. You need to do a turnaround and make them agree on what you are bringing to them; use strong words like “impose”, avoid slouching, make eye contact, and make your voice as solid as possible. For example, “Starting on Monday, I will impose a mandatory weekly report from each member. Failure to do so is tantamount to a disciplinary action”.
- The Capability to Make Decisions
You should be quick-witted when presented a scenario or issue, especially if it’s difficult. Your decisions can make or break the project or even your team’s perception of your ability as a project manager. So don’t decide on a whim and even you have to be quick enough to present your ideas, tread lightly.
- A Strength in Communicating With the Team
You should communicate effectively with your team members since these people will work with you for the whole duration of the project. Assigned projects often fail because there is the absence of communication between the person in charge and his or her subordinates. Talk and settle what issues that need to be disposed of and make sure that your members are not struggling with their tasks. Be concerned with their welfare and hear out their ideas and insights regarding the project. During the meeting, ask them, “How are you all keeping up with your assigned tasks? Please let me know if some of them are too difficult for you and we are going to settle on a possible solution.” That way, your members won’t feel intimidated to seek out your guidance and they are able to voice out their concerns without coming off as whiny.
Being keen on details is one of the best qualities of a project manager. Since the project is handed out to you, you are automatically expected to inspect every nook and cranny of it from the objective down to its possible risks. Always take notes on the updated tasks and double check everything. Don’t settle to “this is fine, I guess” mindset. Think big and be alert. Ensure that your team members are fulfilling their requirements in the assigned time period. If you need to implement a daily or weekly report from them, do so.
- Utilizing Manpower
Remember that the project’s success lies with the people involved. Once your manpower starts to crumble, it creates a domino effect and you lose that human resource investment. Besides the tried and tested communication method, refrain from being a disrespectful and difficult to please project manager that everyone avoids during lunch hour. Do not underestimate your members’ skills and never degrade them because their job weaknesses are exposed. Help them to function properly in their tasks and always give them a boost of confidence to try their best.
- Refrain From Playing Favorites
You must be equal in treating your members; even some of them don’t have the skills and qualities that are parallel to your ideals. If there is a bad habit a project manager that needs to kick to the curb, it’s making comparisons between his or her members. Be always fair and rational with the people in your team—even one of them has a rotten attitude. Collecting favorites are unhealthy in the work environment and it sabotages your relationship with others.
Other than the ones mentioned in the list, you need to create a mindset that not everyone is going to like you or approve of your work philosophy—that includes your team members. That doesn’t mean that you won’t listen to them anymore. That is why you need to create rapport with them to identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you need to listen to your subordinates because we are so caught up with things around us that we disappear into our own void and we end up giving off vibes that are toxic to others.
Take risks as well. Your career won’t come crawling at you—do something to improve, develop, and walk on.
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