In one of our last post, we mentioned how interpersonal skills are important in a leader.

In fact, managing and assuming responsibility for a project requires multiple skills. Each project manager has their own way of doing this. Nonetheless, the nature of the work in question will require the use of different strategies so that the project can be developed successfully and within the proposed deadline.

In order to hire the right project manager, how they perform during a preliminary interview and meeting stage should be carefully observed. Knowing what their plans and responsibilities will consist of, as well as the personalities and professional nature of the staff they will be responsible for, will help a great deal when deciding to opt for one management style or another.

Below you will find descriptions of the various project manager profiles and styles of most interest to the companies looking for them.

Proven: composure through experience

Proven project managers are those who, due to their expertise, have all the skills needed to manage the project and simply provide guidelines while delegating duties to their team. It could be said that their status as gurus leaves no room for retort or debate because they are the ones who best control the ins and outs of the project.

Democratic: team motivation

This project management style is mainly based on knowing the project team and identifying which task is best suited to each member. Such project managers actively listen to their team and implement the proposals they receive, depending on their degree of specialization. The great advantage of democratic project managers lies in that this method will produce a strongly motivated and highly valued team.

Authoritarian: for inexpert teams

At the other end of the spectrum, coercive project managers leave very little room for freedom within their team. This is a tough and demanding style that is applied to inexpert and disorientated project teams above all. The goal is to ensure that these teams question nothing until they acquire sufficient skill. The team must simply do what it is told.

Cooperative or interconnected: high dose of flexibility

They are the glue that bonds a highly professional project team and have efficiently demonstrated their skills. They need little supervision and, in fact, these managers often allow their team to work where each member prefers. They need not necessarily see each other in person every day. They can remain interconnected and in touch via the Internet. Flexibility is the main characteristic of this model, shown through the demonstration of trust from both sides (project manager and team).

Subject to a strict deadline

These project managers are referred to as pace-setters. They act as genuine chronometers when it comes to delegating duties. They ask for work to be done and delivered within a certain deadline and attribute great value to punctuality. When deadlines are so important, pace-setters usually allow quality of work to take on a background role. For them, the most important thing is to meet targets on time and will achieve this under strict supervision of their team. They will apply pressure to ensure strict compliance with the deadline set beforehand. This pressure is palpable and stress often becomes just another colleague in the workplace.

As you can see, there are various different project management styles and it cannot be said that one is any more suitable than another. The characteristics of the project, the professional or inexperienced nature of the team and the delivery deadlines will define the guidelines for deciding which style of project manager is better suited to achieve success. All that said, there is a famous quote by Socrates about team management skills: “kings or governors are not those who carry a scepter but rather those who know how to command”.

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