Leadership and management skills – Improve your project management
We’ve all met people who, regardless of what they do, always seem to end up in charge. Whether it’s organising a social activity, or a work project, these people just exude confidence and competence – and we naturally allow them to take control.
The good news is that with hard work and dedication, leadership is something we can all become good at. These project management tips will help kick start your journey as a future leader.
Be well organised
This is a skill you can acquire, although if you are a disorganised person, you might have to work pretty hard on this one. Being well organised is more than just a place for everything and everything in its place. It means being disciplined whilst having the ability to multi-task, without losing sight of what needs to be accomplished.
A simple way to start is with a to-do list and colour co-ordinated folders. At the start of each day, review your to-do list and decide what should take priority. Have 4 folders – red, yellow, green, and plain. Anything that needs to be done today, goes in the red folder. What can be done if there is spare time, goes in the yellow folder. And anything that can wait, goes in the plain folder. The rest goes in the green folder.
Also, you should be delegating some of the work. Many disorganised people are not disorganised, just overworked. Sometimes this is because they cannot bear to delegate. If you cannot effectively delegate, you will never be an effective project manager, and you won’t be growing your team members either. Sure, you might have to help them a bit for the first few times, but eventually, they’ll get the hang of it.
Have Focus & Vision
This is more of a difficult skill to acquire if you do not possess this innately. Focus and vision is the ability to see the wood from the trees. This means being able to distil the essence of a problem or goal, articulate it clearly so that others can see it too, and do it all fairly quickly! Assist your personal development, with a course in releasing creativity at work. This will enable you to work on unblocking yourself in difficult situations.
The other key thing is being able to keep the team focused on the end goal at all times. Again, the theme of discipline emerges, do not allow the team, or yourself, to be derailed from achieving your goal. Write it down and stick it up on the wall!
To be a good leader, you must be able to communicate clearly at all levels in an organisation – from the most unskilled worker through to the chief executive. This means tailoring your message to your audience and doing it in a confident manner. You can increase your confidence in public speaking through:
- local toastmasters groups
- local acting groups
- reading aloud to yourself or your family
Learn to be confident with your voice!
Be the Bad Guy
If you are the sort of person who doesn’t like to deliver bad news, then you need to toughen up. That doesn’t mean you need to be aggressive, just assertive. If you have to deliver bad news, whether it’s to senior executives or to your team, just put yourself in their place. Think how the news will affect them, and tailor the message appropriately.
Don’t forget to consider company culture when taking firm decisions. SMEs and large corporations differ in structure. Smaller companies require you to act much faster – the person at the helm often needs to make tough decisions without hesitation.
There are opposing views as to whether leadership can be learnt or not. Yes, it will be hard work for someone who does not innately possess this skill, but it’s something you can develop. Above all else you need self-confidence, and underlying that self-confidence, is competence. To build up your leadership and management skills, you need to build up your self-confidence and competence.
Interested in sharpening your leadership and management skills in Malta? Contact ThinkTalent for more information on our courses.