black men carrying an arrow, going in the direction indicated by the leaderIf you want to achieve success in your project as a project leader, you should be aware that you will need more skills than technical knowledge alone. Your ability to build interpersonal relationships with team members is decisive in obtaining good end results.

Interpersonal skills play a fundamental role in the work of a leader whenever the work needs to move beyond the scope initially planned. As leader, you cannot forget that you work with a large number of people at all levels of a project, both from within the company and from external sources. Many of them you will not see face-to-face but nonetheless, you will need to establish relationships with them in order to improve the chances of success for the end result. Hence, one of the priorities for a project leader should be to build a fast and lasting relationship with all those involved in the project, always basing each relationship on discretion and diplomacy. Similarly, there is a need to maintain good relations with sponsors so that they help you ensure work can be carried out under the best possible conditions.

How to maintain these good relations with all those involved in the work process?

Maintaining a positive attitude is always essential.

You should know how to accept the points of view expressed by others and steer them towards adaptation to your own demands. Furthermore, you should learn to speak more clearly and concisely so that all those involved in a project can understand you easily and without misunderstandings. Maintaining fluid and ongoing communication regarding the strategic objectives to be achieved and the final mission for the program is also another basic step for building a good network of interpersonal relationships between a leader and the rest of the project team. Active listening and providing up-to-date information on each step of the process being undertaken will help you ensure that the interaction between all those involved in the project substantially improves.

Of course, you always need to demonstrate genuine interest in the issues being analyzed and try to raise awareness on the need to be empathetic with all team members.

At any event, when thinking about putting all this advice into practice, it is important to bear in mind that a solid interpersonal relationship cannot be built overnight. A good leader will take the time needed to work on their inter-relationships with each of the stakeholders involved in their project, even helping them to see the most problematic aspects of the work in a positive light. The life cycles of a project are usually sequential in nature and can be divided into whether they seek functional or partial objectives, intermediary results or deliverables, specific milestones or according to financial availability.

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