Having good habits is extremely important in general, not only in the life of a project manager. It determines one’s path as a professional and the outcome of the projects and business. Having good habits implies that such favorable behavior will become automatic over time and that one can spend the energy on other tasks to be completed. This means that good habits actually amplify one’s effectiveness and success. This can really make a difference, especially in the world of business.
Therefore, we will tell you more about the top 7 habits of the most successful project managers. These are the habits that make an average project manager stand out. Before learning more about these important habits, we will share another important fact with you: there are two non-negotiable habits. If you don’t possess both of these, you cannot expect a decent career as a project manager.
2 Non-negotiable habits
The first two habits we will talk about are related to focus and integrity. These are the pillars of the successful project outcome.
#1 Non-negotiable a bit: Keeping track of the project process
Regardless of the type of the project, a project manager must be able to follow it to its last bit. This implies that you are responsible for all adaptations and modifications along this process.
If you don’t possess and exercise this habit, you will have delays and financial losses.
#2 Non-negotiable a bit: Integrity
This refers to integrity in your words and acts. A good project manager must speak honestly and act in accordance with his/her words. Even though this is not an easy task, it will grant you respect and authority among your co-workers.
7 Habits for the success of a project manager
Now that you know the prerequisites for becoming a project manager, let’ stake a look at the top seven habits that will boost your performance from average to outstanding.
We don’t want to sound pessimistic, but a good project manager respects Murphy’s law. One must always be prepared for the worst and be ready for the risk. This also implies thinking about all kinds of risks before they can even technically occur.
#2- Master your listening skills
If you are a project manager, you’ll have to listen to people all the time. Stakeholders are a very delicate part of the project chain. They tend to make last-minute changes and it can mess with your Gantt chart and the whole project. That’s why you have to listen, communicate, and master your persuasion skills.
#3- Be in control, in a wise way
What does this mean? A project manager must be in control, but there are so many things to think about and manage, that you might lose yourself in the sea of obligations and strings to hold. Instead, prioritizing is extremely important. Focus on certain projects and parts of the project wisely. You should choose the project levers (one, two, or maximum of three) that grant you control over the whole project. In this way, you’ll save your energy and get the best results.
Delegating is much more than you think. It does not only free up your space for the job no one else can do instead of you, but it shows your co-workers you trust them. This is especially important for a healthy atmosphere. Moreover, delegating is crucial for project resilience. One of the biggest mistakes of new and inexperienced project managers is thinking that they can do it all by themselves.
#5- Serve your team
One of your tasks, as a project manager, is to enable your team to do their job in the easiest possible way. You should give the mall the sources they need to meet the goals and the deadlines. Also, not all parts of the team should be involved in managerial issues. Spare them from the worries they cannot affect.
#6- Ask questions
As we have already pointed out in #2, you will have to be an active listener. Equally important, you have to make sure every detail is clear. In order to do so, you should ask questions. Also, you should be questioning project phases, decisions, and look for better solutions. Some project reporting tools can come in handy during these processes.
Assuming that your co-workers understood something or assuming that you’ve understood a certain decision is wrong. Assumptions can lead to a project disaster.
A good project manager is never afraid of asking questions. More importantly, he/she is not afraid of a challenge and will to be ready for changes if that’s for the sake of the project excellence.
#7- Devote you to life-long learning
Life-long learning is essential for the success of any successful man today. Similarly, it is of the utmost importance for a good project manager. People, organizations, technology, the way we do business, literally everything evolves and one must keep up with the changes.
A successful project manager will always find time and money to invest in his own knowledge/education and education of the project participants and co-workers. Being devoted to learning will make you always one step ahead of your competition. More importantly, it will open the doors to excellent projects that can change the world. This is not just a cliché; project managers are among those changing our lives and thinking big is another habit of a successful project manager.
How long does it take to form a habit?
Scientists and researchers do not agree on this topic. Namely, some say that you need only three weeks to acquire a habit, while others say that you need up to three months.
However, three weeks or three months is a very short period of time in comparison with all the benefits good habits will bring you.
Finally, remember, not everyone can become a project manager, let alone a successful one. Be the one that stands out. Good habits are your best allies.