To become a leading construction project manager (PM) there are certain skills and qualities you must possess. Inexperience construction project managers have the potential for greatness but greatness can’t be achieved if you are deficient in any of these areas.
How do you manage big time projects that pull together a lot of professionals in varying fields of knowledge?
How on earth are you to supervise effectively, hundreds of daily tasks?
Technical training in construction project management doesn’t prepare you for all the challenges and circumstances you face on site. You must recognize that you are a change agent working with a team made up of very complex individuals ready to accomplish a set number of goals.
You ought to be a leader, a team player and a boss at the same time. A successful construction PM must learn how to recognize and deal with situations in the most civilized manner possible. Here are 5 features every construction project manager must have:
Clear and Concise Communication is key
Good communication is a skill every project manager must have. The right communication is needed to break large tasks into smaller intricate tasks that can be completed in time. Poor communication is a recipe for disaster. Since over 95% of a project manager’s time is spent communicating, this skill cannot be overemphasized.
A good place to start is to improve your presentation skills. From small meetings, pitching to clients to addressing stakeholders, you must improve on all these aspects if you are to succeed at your job.
Team Management Skills
Construction projects occur in groups and require the input of a team or a number of teams to achieve the common goal. As a construction project manager you need to have team management skills that places you at the forefront of delegating multiple tasks to different workers.
An effective team manager must excel at coordinating groups of individuals to promote teamwork, conflict resolution and goal performance.
The qualities of a good leader is a must-have to every construction manager. As a leader, you should set a preference for others to follow. Leadership is not a call to be a boss only, but also a call to serve. To deliver the goods, you must be a good leader.
Most project managers at some point might have forgotten the need to improve on themselves. If you are interested in developing your leadership skills you must be willing to improve on yourself by consistently reading great books about leadership etc. Attend leadership conferences, seminars or even take up a leadership mentoring program in an effort to improve on yourself.
To excel as a construction manager, you must develop great negotiation skills. Going back to the communication skills we discussed earlier, a lot of it has to do with negotiating the use of a variety of resources. To get the best results out of your project, you should be good at negotiating the use of the scarce resources available to you. One of the keys to a successful project is keeping all parties satisfied. You can’t achieve this, if you are bad at negotiating.
Problem Solving Skills
I’m yet to find a construction project without its fair share of problems, obstacles and challenges, all hidden in the background of the project conception. What happens when these problems arise and how you tackle them will determine how successful you will be at achieving the set goal.
It is nice to believe that nothing will ever go wrong because you think you have a master plan at hand but we all know that’s a fallacy. If you fail to plan you have planned to fail. You need to have advanced problem-solving skills to tackle whatever issues might arise along the way.
More often than not, your initial master plan will need some adjustments and even overhauling to accommodate problems as they arise.