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The oscillating wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it and most importantly changed our lives, both personally and professionally. But what does a post-pandemic workplace look like as COVID-19 changed the way business and most importantly employees interact? For project managers (PMs), it has posed unexpected challenges. While PMs are expected to have various skills to do their day-to-day job and in addition are able to deal with change management, the scale of unforeseen variability has highlighted the importance of soft skills that PMs must master to be successful in these ever-changing times.
Here is the list of top 3 soft skills that are highly relevant for PMs in the post-pandemic era.
- Anticipatory vision
Owing to the responsibility of the full project in terms of resources, budget and time, PMs are expected to construct an effective plan that will help achieve the project goals successfully. The Covid pandemic has added the challenge of building plans that are resilient to such unprecedented changes. The unseen challenges demand the ability to predict circumstantial risks well in advance. This can be achieved only if the PM’s vision is not unidirectional but a constantly scanning one, anticipating any imminent change and de-risking any unexpected danger. An anticipatory vision, therefore, will help PMs to rescue their projects every step of the way.
- Adaptive communication style
The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of mental health at work and in normal life. Post-pandemic thought processes have transcended into evolved values and principles at work and in personal life. With this new perspective, people seek purpose in the workforce instead of merely getting through a workweek that pays their bills. To add to the abovesaid complexity, a PM may need to harmonize cross-functional and multinational teams operating remotely from several geolocations. While a crisp and clear communication style gets PM’s message delivered effectively, an adaptive style is more inclusive, welcoming stakeholders’ participation. Therefore, besides achieving milestones, an adaptive communication style uplifts the quality of work with team-members feeling relevant and motivated each step of the way. Accepting feedback, being receptive to suggested improvements and integrating them into long- and short-term objectives keeps the team feeling purposeful in the overall picture.
- Leadership skills
Having good leadership skills is imperative for being a successful PM because this role involves daily interaction with people. Guiding people towards a common goal starts with knowing them first. As a project leader, the PM must be able to identify and use the strength of each team member during challenging times. Knowing your teams’ strengths and weaknesses allows you to blend them in a perfect balance for seamless project execution. Along the same lines, crediting the team for each small and big success towards the common goal can give them a rewarding experience. Inadvertent mistakes must be used to improve the existing processes and future ways of working instead of pinpointing individuals. The focus should always be solution-oriented.
At Modis, soon to become Akkodis, we have a team of skilled and certified project managers who can help in managing complex projects and teams. We apply best practices and proven methodologies to address your key business challenges in Life Sciences innovation and go to market – with consistent, high-quality results.
Interested about how we can address your project management needs? Contact us! If you are looking to build your project management career, we empower you by upskilling and reskilling based on your needs. Interested? Check out our careers website!