How to Be a Good Project Manager in an Expanding Business
Becoming a good project manager within the expanding world of construction requires a wide variety of skills and characteristics. Technical knowledge and industry experience are not enough to successfully mobilize and lead a team in order to execute a great project. Leadership and people skills are just as important, if not more, than technical proficiency and business expertise. Although education and experience are irreplaceable, honing leadership skills will not only make you a better project manager but will motivate everyone your team to be better as well.
So what exactly are these skills and qualities that make a great project manager?
The ability to communicate effectively is absolutely essential in the construction industry. You are dealing with owners, engineers, company management, architects, subcontractors, inspectors, and vendors every day. You need to be able to handle and manage the different demands, which can often lead to you being pulled in many different directions. A great project manager can juggle all of these different people and requests under a limited time schedule, and still manage to make everyone happy. As a project manager, you will also need to effectively communicate through the use of email, status reports, and meetings in order to solve problems and make decisions. Good project managers are able to keep everyone on the team up-to-date through the use of these tools. They also understand that communication is different depending on the medium and who their audience is!
Know how to handle conflict
Over the course of a construction project, conflict at some point is inevitable. Good project managers know how to stay calm and effectively mitigate conflict by getting to the root of the problem. They give both parties a chance to fully explain their perspectives and then brainstorm for the best possible solution. A successful project manager can alleviate a conflict while still managing to make both sides feel like they are heard.
Know how to motivate others
Staying motivated during projects can be hard, but good projects managers are able to inspire their team and increase motivation. Great leaders know that in order to motivate your team, you need to stay engaged with them. If you know everything that’s going on, this allows you to guide your team and encourage them throughout the construction project. Good project managers also know that leading by example is one of the best ways to increase enthusiasm among team members. Your employees will be looking to you and it is your job to gain their respect and inspire them to follow your lead.
Observe and ask questions
Good project managers don’t hesitate to dive into the project and work alongside their team. As a project manager, you need to continually learn about new equipment and practices in order to execute a successful project. The only way to do this is by going on the job site and observing the processes first hand. The construction industry is evolving every day, so it is imperative that you keep up with all of the new changes. When you visit the job site, make sure you ask questions and convene with the contractors and workers that are on-site. This continues the flow of communication and also allows contractors and workers to feel like they are being heard.
A truly exceptional project manager possesses the gift of foresight. They are able to think ahead and anticipate future problems that may result in profit losses or project delays. Using past experiences is a great way to predict possible problems and situations that could possibly occur. If you plan for it ahead of time, you will save yourself a lot of time and money!
In the construction field, the success of a project lies on the entire team. Good project managers sincerely respect all stakeholder’s opinions and take them seriously. If you learn about the concerns of your team and address these concerns, you will better understand them and will have a much easier time leading them.
Leading a team with so many different stakeholders can be a difficult task, but if you can learn the importance of people and leadership skills, you are on your way to becoming a great project manager.