Interpersonal Skills separates weak project managers from Project Management Professionals with experience and knowledge
Interpersonal skills, also known as “soft skills,” are behavioral competencies that include proficiency such as communication skills, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, negotiation, influence, team building, and group facilitation. As a successful project manager, a person needs to improve his or her interpersonal skills by reading more on the topic and observing different situational experiences to build and sharpen those skills.
During my graduate degree program for Construction Management, Wayne State University‘s Civil and Environmental Engineering College still didn’t have an established construction management department. Therefore, my adviser and department’s chair, Dr. Mumtaz Usmen, would assign different courses from different departments to aquire these interpersonal skills from Law, Marketing, Accounting, Human Resource, and Information Technology Departments of WSU. Learning these soft skills from different perspective was a valuable lesson during my academic growth. While complementing this knowledge as I was working in a small contracting company, trying to apply my know-how to my job as I was learning, the gained skills from these experiences are priceless.
Interpersonal Skills in a Project Team
These soft skills are especially valuable assets when developing the project team. For example, the project management team can use emotional intelligence to reduce tension and increase cooperation by identifying, assessing, and controlling the sentiments of project team members, anticipating their actions, acknowledging their concerns, and following up on their issues. It would be difficult to train all project team members in a short time and expect all of them to act accordingly when it is most important to execute the project. Therefore, hiring a PMP freelance consultant with Interpersonal skills could train, coach, and mediate in tensions and increase cooperation among team members.
As a project, program, or portfolio manager, you know it takes more than technical skills to achieve success. It is just as important to focus on the soft skills of project management—skills such as relationship building and communication—that can make or break your results.
Interpersonal skills take on greater significance as you move from project to program and portfolio management. Misunderstandings and miscommunication with your stakeholders can obstruct the delivery of benefits, not only for individual projects, but for projects that comprise a program, and for the program as a whole. Such issues also can impede the development and implementation of a portfolio management process that everyone in the organization consistently follows.
Presentation on Interpersonal Skills
Here is an interesting and useful presentation on Interpersonal Skills from SlideShare