Top 3 Skills Needed By Project Managers

Top 3 Skills Needed By Project Managers

Communication, leadership, and professionalism are the top three skills a project manager must have for an increased chance of project success. Project managers need to be able to communicate with all members of the project team, lead the team, and maintain a standard of professionalism all while managing the project. These skills are pivotal in the success of a project manager.

Communication Skills

Project managers must possess multi-faceted communication skills to interact with all those involved in a project.  Project managers have a significant role in achieving organizational goals as well as interaction goals.  During a project, they regularly communicate with internal customers — team members, stakeholders, and organizational departments — and external customers — clients and vendors.  Because the communication channel on a project is both vertical and horizontal, project managers must be effective in (a) formal and informal, (b) verbal and nonverbal, and (c) written and oral communications.

Leadership Skills and Professionalism

Project managers manage people in addition to the project.  The people on the team depend on the project manager to lead them in a manner that is ethical and professional. Project managers must lead their team with sensitivity and appropriateness, using influence and assertiveness when necessary.  PMI certified project managers must lead with professionalism that is based on the PMI fundamental values of responsibility, respect, fairness, and honesty.


Excellent communication and leader skills as well as professionalism are essential traits project managers must have to effectively manage team members and other internal customers.  The combination of the three is a requirement to lead project teams successfully.