Project Managers tend to be a different breed to other managers but many of the skills and qualities required by good managers are the same attributes required by good project managers. Some of the common responsibilities are to communicate effectively, to motivate your team or department and to ensure the necessary processes and procedures are in place for the project or department to function.
Managers and Project Managers exist in all industries and all professions and when an individual initially gains management responsibility they will need to build up their experience and knowledge to carry out the role effectively. This is usually done through training and learning from good role models.
In a recent conversation with Jennifer King, HR Analyst at Software Advice, I discovered that she had been talking to some recently-appointed managers and an executive coach to get their advice for all new managers. These tips are excellent and essential advice for every individual new to management, whether you are managing a project or a team of retail staff or a group of sales advisors. In fact, this is not just advice for new managers but advice that all project manages should think about from time to time. There is always room for personal improvement in all of us.
So here are the tips that Jennifer obtained:
Get to know your people and what they want
Take as much time as possible in the beginning of your transition to get to know your direct reports. Talk to them about their career goals, what they want out of their current position, and how you can best support them.
Learn to see your work through others
As a manager, you’ll likely be spending most of your time in meetings, discussions with senior management, and one-on-one conversations with your team, which will leave you less time to work on your own projects. You’ll eventually begin to see your work shine through your team as you give direction and offer guidance.
The ability to listen to your team and give guidance without assuming you immediately know the right answer will be critical as you spend more one-on-one time with your employees.
Develop your own style
While it may feel easy or natural to mimic the management tactics of your previous boss, those same tactics might not work for you. Instead, think about what they did and how you can learn from them to develop your own style.
Don’t expect to “get it” at first
One of the biggest misconceptions held by first-time managers is that they’ll be good at management from the get-go. In most cases, though, new managers need training and development just like any new hire within an organization.
Read the full article “5 Tips for First-Time Managers, From First-Time Managers“
The skill I have, personally, always found to be most useful is that of listening – this is an essential aspect of proper communication that is often overlooked by project managers who are new to the profession as well as those that have many years of experience.
If you have any tips for new project managers, perhaps advice on something you had to learn the hard way, why not share it with us?