Project Management: How To Improve Your Leadership Skills

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Every organization understands the importance of having a good project manager to supervise the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. If an organization achieves its aims through the process of project management, it can see marked changes in employee productivity. However, at the end of the day, a project manager has to be a good leader in order to successfully achieve the desired goals.

A good project management process affects the overall productivity of the organization as well as helping in reaching an optimized balance in costs. The cost efficiency is a very important aspect of every organization so a good project manager has to wisely allocate resources.

For this purpose, an organization needs help from a good project manager; one who is willing to stand apart from the crowd and be the best in their field. It takes a combination of personal attributes, talent, practice and hard work to make a professional project manager.

Main features of a good project manager

A good project manager needs to have experience in areas such as identifying goals and analysing them, planning and estimating the budget, allocation of cost efficient resources, and coming together with the right team to achieve all the business goals. Yet, the foremost quality, even before the experience, is that a project manager should hold exceptional leadership qualities.

A good leader is often defined as someone who is optimistic, is inspired enough to make changes and empower his team. There are different kinds of leaders that are found in management, however, it really depends upon the kind of team a leader is leading. A team’s performance is often defined by the way the leader acts.

Therefore, the performance of a project team can depend entirely upon the leader’s management skills and style. Usually, an organization opts for transformational leaders. They are passionate and ambitious, while concerned about their team members to help them achieve their full potential.

How to improve as a leader

  • Style of leadership

The first thing that is important for a leader is to analyse their style of leadership. What are the strengths that define his or her skills? What are the weaknesses that might hamper their style and prevent them from reaching the desired goals and objectives?

A very quick and simple way to assess it is to take different leadership style quizzes (often found online). Such quizzes reveal the most important characteristics. If there are some weaknesses in a character, the leader could look for ways to improve it. Once a project manager has assessed their leadership style, then they could look for ways to improve their style and abilities to become a better leader.

  • Creativity

Another important aspect of good leadership is creativity. Many leaders ask their team members to complete a task by the book. They might not be innately creative individuals; however, encouraging creativity is a very important aspect of good leadership.

An effective leader should empower creative team members to bring new processes to the table. The purpose of encouraging creativity is that team members would be getting out of their comfort zone and so tend to work harder to achieve success.

  • Listening skills

Another one of the most essential business tips is that a good leader needs good listening skills. A good project manager should be an effective communicator; be able to communicate the goals to be reached and how they would be achieved. However, a good leader has to believe in two way and open communication and listen to what the team members have to say. Motivate and encourage them to question the leader and speak up.

  • On-going process

The last thing that a project manager can do to improve their leadership skills is to recognize that improving one’s capabilities is an on-going process. They should never stop learning and educating themselves, whether that’s through professional training, books or custom research papers.

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  1. Undoubtedly , a PM needs to have leadership skills . For style of leadership, I will like to add ‘the demonstration of people as well as task orientation is must . The effectiveness of the style will depend on the situation consisting of work structure , established relationship with team , group cohesiveness and a few other situational factors .
    In case the situation is very favorable / unfavorable , a task oriented approach will yield better results. Normally , in project environment towards the beginning and the end task orientation should work better

  2. It’s so true that effectiveness of the leader and the leadership style required depends on the situation: the people and the type of work required.

    A good leader should be able to adapt their style to the situation and to individual people. We are not all motivated by the same things so shouldn’t be managed in the same way.

    Too many leaders stick to only one style but it won’t work for everyone.

  3. You’re right Lawrence that some leaders have an ingrained leadership style and don’t adapt it for the people or situation. Perhaps they need to be more flexible in their approach.

  4. Michelle yes a flexible style is very important. Especially in project situations where things can change very quickly as the project moves from one phase to another. You are right too many leaders have just one style. They treat everyone the same.


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