Undeniably, the ability to communicate clearly is one of the most universal attributes for a great Project Manager. Whether it is an interpersonal face-to-face conversation with a subcontractor, or using a project management system to efficiently communicate across entire teams quickly, Project Managers need to be able to get their thoughts across in a manner that results in action and understanding.
One characteristic that does not automatically come to mind, but nonetheless is generally present within great Project Managers, it the ability to empathize. Empathy is in essence, the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes. In construction project management, where your success is inherent on the success of others, it is imperative to be able to know what motivates team members and stakeholders alike, empathize with them and turn those motivations into action. Pantera’s President and CEO DeWayne Adamson, in his interview with Grace Daly, speaks further on the importance of empathy with regards to leadership and management.
The Ability to Delegate – Project Managers with the ability to delegate and manage resource allocation have a significant advantage over those that do not. Being able to delegate successfully means that a Project Manager knows the bounds of their scope in the project and they have confidence in their team to get the job done. Project Managers that extend beyond their scope into micromanaging their teams are inherently less efficient and do not have as much time to focus on the other core elements of their job.
Leadership is a broad category and is a slightly more ambiguous trait to define, particularly because leadership comes in so many forms. For our purposes we will look at leadership as the ability to inspire, support, and influence project team members and stakeholders to mobilize into successful actions to complete a project on time and on budget. Within the scope of construction project management this means having people skills and being able to direct subcontractors and team members and competently interface with major stakeholders.
This one is a no brainer. Construction projects are often big endeavors with many moving parts and a lot of personnel where the ability to organize is vital. One element of organization that is particularly critical is the ability to have a focus on the big picture and to be able to prioritize competing responsibilities. This stems from having exceptional time management skills to know how long items will take, how much time is available, and being able to reconcile the two. Top level time management and organizational abilities are often indicative of successful Project Managers who are punctual and meet their deadlines.