Keeptab Blog

Articles, stories and tips on project tracking and management

Sign up for Keeptab

What makes a good project manager?

What makes a good project manager?

Bookmark this article:

A project manager is someone who is supposed to manage a team but a true manager is more than the name would imply, they are a leader. With that being said, what does it take to make a good project manager? A project manager requires a lot of traits that help them to work well with other people, let's take a look at the different facets of a good project manager.

A Natural Air Of Authority

A good project manager doesn't need a department manager or someone higher to give them power. They enlist the help of other people naturally. Others in the team view them as a leader and want to do as they say.

Ability To Multitask

A good project leader has the ability to multitask. They need to be able to keep up on their own work while at the same time keeping track of everyone else's tasks. While this is a trait that can be learned it is key. Without the ability to multitask a project manager will go crazy trying to make sure everything gets done.

The Ability To Release Control

Project managers by definition of the position lead a project but that doesn't always mean that they will be the one making decisions. Sometimes a good leader needs to be able to tell when to let the group make decisions. Group decisions can help increase morale and make everyone feel like part of the team. Sometimes, though, decisions just need to be made.

A Great Communicator

Almost all aspects of being a leader require you to be a good communicator. A good communicator is able to convey their messages in a way that people will understand but also in a way that will appeal to them. They are well versed in the art of body language, whether they actively know they are or only passively are good at communicating with their body.

A Knack for Empathy

Being able to understand those that a project manager works with is another major need. The manager needs to know how to best interact with them and to influence them. That requires the skill of empathy. According to Meriam Webster empathy is simply the ability to understand and share in someone's experiences and feelings. In reality, it takes more than simply knowing what they are feeling but to know the feeling itself and how to use it.

Great Decision Maker

In the process of being a project manager, you will also need to be a decision maker. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made, and they need to be made in a timely manner. A good project manager will make a decision and stick with it when needed. Most of the time they should be able to pick the right decision.

Good At Creating Unity

A team is nothing without teamwork and it falls on the project manager to establish the sense of team that any unit has. They need to be able to get everyone to work together to achieve the common goal, even if members of the team don't like each other. This comes through building unity as a team. Team building exercises, morale activities, and the like can only take you so far, the project manager brings the team building the rest of the way.

Be Able To Deal With Pressure

On any project, there can be a lot of pressure for all members of the team but for the project manager that pressure is multiplied. A project manager needs to be able to handle this pressure without letting the other members of the team see them falter. The project manager takes the pressure and turns it into a positive motivating factor for themselves and for the rest of the team.

There are a lot of different factors that go into making a project manager good at his or her job but it all comes down to two main factors, being a good leader and being a good people person. As long as a project manager has the ability to learn both of these traits, they will be able to learn the rest of the necessary skills. Get out there and seize the market!