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The magic ingredients behind great Project Managers

As you start working in projects, it’s tempting to think that all you need to do is buy some expensive project management software and – snap! – the project will be an overnight success!

Sadly – while there is a whole industry around project management software – the reality is a little more complicated. These days Project Managers have to have far more skills than simple GANTT charts, project plans and Project Initiation Documents.

Great Project Managers are those that fire up the hearts and minds of the stakeholders, teams and customers who make up their projects. It’s the ability to recognise the softer skills, the human element of projects, that turns an average Project Manager into a great Project Manager.

Indigo are proud to be launching our newest workshop – “Soft Skills for Project Managers™”. In support of these vital skills, here are our 7 essential skills modern Project Managers need to manage projects and teams.

The Seven Magic Ingredients of Project Perfection:

  1. Empathy: Project Managers need to be able to understand and appreciate the perspectives and concerns of team members, stakeholders and clients. Active listening, showing genuine interest and responding with empathy are vital skills. Working on your empathy skills can be challenging – but will reward you in the long term.
  2. Conflict resolution: Project Managers need to be able to identify and resolve conflicts that may arise within their team or with external stakeholders. This includes understanding different perspectives, finding common ground and facilitating solutions that satisfy all parties.
  3. Interpersonal communication: Project Managers need to be able to communicate effectively and professionally with team members, stakeholders and clients. This includes being able to articulate project goals, expectations and timelines, as well as listen and respond to feedback. Don’t imagine this will always be planned – you need to be able to Think on Your Feet® and deal with issues as they arise.
  4. Influencing skills: Project Managers need to be able to influence others to support the project goals and objectives. This includes persuading stakeholders to invest resources, convincing team members to adopt new approaches or technologies and negotiating contracts or other agreements.
  5. Collaboration: Project Managers need to be able to work collaboratively. Building trust, fostering a positive team culture, and promoting open communication and information sharing are key. Sounds simple, but if you haven’t formally had training, this can be a challenge for many.
  6. Motivation: Project Managers need to be able to motivate their team members to achieve project goals. Recognising and rewarding success, providing feedback and constructive criticism, and helping team members develop and grow professionally, are vital if you want your project team to stay with you.
  7. Leadership: Sounds obvious – but you need to be able to lead your team effectively by setting clear goals, delegating tasks, providing guidance and supporting the team as much as possible when needed.

More about the workshops:

Soft Skills for Project Managers™ builds on existing technical project skills and provides structured techniques for you to master how to:

  • Identify and prioritise stakeholders – so you are positively influencing the right ones.
  • Develop your influencing strategy and deploy structured negotiation techniques – especially when stakeholders can’t agree.
  • Build and lead an effective and productive team – delivering your project on time and on budget.

Find out more at:

Think on Your Feet® emphasises structure when communicating verbally. It provides the tools and techniques to ensure you are clear, confident and able to think before you speak – even when caught-on-the-spot! Find out more at