IMPMO: In My Project Manager’s Opinion

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Soft Skills Development – As an instructor of project management principles and best practices, I am regularly asked about the “softer” side of being a project manager:

  1. How do I handle X situation with a project team member?

  2. How do I get a key stakeholder more engaged in my project?

  3. How do I get my sponsor to accept my meeting requests?

  4. I sent the stakeholders an email, isn’t that enough communications?

For many of us that found our way into project management (i.e. accidental project manager), we saw that we appreciated the short-term project structure and seeing outcomes in our work. We like the idea of workflows, Gantt charts, checklists, and deliverables. While many of us focused on developing our technical skillsets to be a competent project manager, we oftentimes miss the opportunity to also work on our soft skills. Why a focus on soft skills? In addition to the fact that the Project Management Institute, “the leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project management profession” has very recently emphasized the importance of leadership skills in their talent triangle, the development of leadership skills relies upon the development of soft skills. The commonly cited soft skills include:

Problem Solving

Conflict Resolution

Effective Communications

Emotional Intelligence

Negotiations