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  • Mary Ann Brown

What are the six core project management traits?

There are the basics every project manager should know, like running meetings, leading teams and seeing projects to execution. But truly great project leaders go above and beyond. Among other things, not only do they execute projects within scope; they have key traits that make them strategic business partners who are fully vested in organizational success.


If you’re looking to stand out and take your project management career to the next level, the following traits of highly effective project managers will show you the way.


1. Professionalism

As professionals, good project managers can separate their personal needs from that of project stakeholders. They deliver their best job performance at all times, regardless of personal bias or needs. This is the level of focus that companies have come to rely on in the project management profession — and what makes top candidates stand out.


2. Motivation

A project manager’s ability to communicate with and influence a variety of stakeholders and team members is paramount to a project's success. You must demonstrate respect for team members, stakeholders and sponsors at all times if you are to receive their respect in turn. It’s almost impossible for projects to progress in the right direction and on time without respect and motivation.


3. Focus

Highly effective project managers believe in their work, and they are fully vested in seeing a project from initiation to close. This mindset helps achieve the best results throughout the project. Avoid overextending yourself if you want to maintain professional integrity and stakeholder satisfaction.


4. Integrity

Being accountable for your decisions and actions is vital, and sends a strong message to the rest of the team. Without the ability to be selfless, to put the needs and wants of others before your own, you will never get people to follow you to a place where they wouldn’t go to by themselves.


5. Communication

Communication doesn’t just mean being a stellar facilitator, speaker, or writer; it requires good listening skills. Actively listening to what is being said — and not said — and taking context into account is of value. Listening to others’ views and taking into account their experiences and knowledge helps to reduce potential conflict and risks due to blind spots and increases the likelihood of project success.


6.Leadership

Although you cannot please everyone, having an established reputation as a well-respected leader typically means that you’ve earned it through hard work.






A Project manager with high technical and high people skills is a tough combination to find. Having the above traits can be key in moving ahead in the career field of project management.


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