Are you a manager or a leader?
T he textbook definition of a project manager is “a professional in the field of project management whose responsibility is to lead the work of a team to achieve project goals and execute a project successfully by monitoring given constraints such as defined scope, schedule, and budget.” When your team views you as a leader and not just a manager, they will work much harder and be willing to go the extra mile when necessary.
Linda Schulte, PMP
Project management is a technical role that requires a project manager to have industry competency as well as strong organizational, planning, and leadership skills. An effective project manager must be focused on deadlines and prioritizing tasks while simultaneously managing team members both individually and as a collective group. Project management is also a role that requires soft skills including emotional intelligence, self-confidence, adaptability, decision making, problem solving, collaboration, communication, empathy, time management, assertiveness, and creativity. In the AEC industry, engineers are stereotypically known to possess type-A personalities. They are methodical in their work, strong problem solvers, and reliant on facts. Data driven analysis and calculations are very important for an engineer to be successful.
Project managers must remain involved in the technical “nuts and bolts” of the project alongside the engineers while concurrently focusing on the bigger picture. It is imperative to understand how engineers gather and process information and to develop strategies that play to their strengths to move the project forward and deliver a successful outcome. Engineers value accuracy and specific details, so pretending to know what you don’t know and being unable to admit weakness is a quick way to lose respect and trust amongst the team. Tough, awkward, or sensitive conversations with clients or coworkers are also typically not a strong suit of an engineer, meaning that they may prefer to rely on the soft skills of a project manager in such situations. Taking on the nontechnical duties of the project can also be a
See LINDA SCHULTE, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER SEPTEMBER 12, 2022, ISSUE 1456
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