Managing projects for the first time is intimidating. Guiding a team toward successful project completion is an art and a science that can be challenging and rewarding. Leadership skills are essential for effectively leading a project. A project manager must apply practical leadership skills to motivate their teams to accomplish project objectives and complete project deliverables. If you are a first-time project manager, here are five essential leadership skills for you!


As a leader, you are responsible for developing a vision for your team. You then communicate this vision throughout your organization and work with your team to achieve the vision. Great project managers understand how to keep people enthusiastic about their work and focused on the project. So encourage your team members to do their best and let them receive the satisfaction of knowing their contribution is making the project vision a reality.

Team Building

The primary purpose of team building is to create a team that works together toward a shared vision or goal. Team building is a powerful way to get results. You can help the team members help each other while they provide individual and group contributions toward achieving the stated project goals.


As a project manager, strong negotiating skills enable you to achieve relationships with stakeholders and clients and create a more positive working environment. Negotiation is beneficial for dealing with conflicts on a project. And while it is nearly impossible to avoid conflict, being able to negotiate a way around it is an excellent skill to possess. Being the leader, you encourage team members and stakeholders to work effectively with each other with the intent of compromising before reaching a team decision.


As you hone your leadership skills as a project manager, you will find that you are working with teams comprised of professionals with a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities. Effective communication is essential to keep these professionals informed and on-task. You will spend much time communicating with your team to ensure the project’s success.

Creating a project environment where team members can communicate honestly and openly is crucial for leadership. You must understand each team member’s communication style and be able to communicate with project stakeholders.


Listening is one of the most valuable tools you can develop as a leader. It will help you gain the loyalty and trust of your team. It is crucial for team performance. Any authoritarian and judgemental leader might cause employees to fear them and be unwilling to communicate. The result is team dysfunction and poor productivity. Influential leaders are active listeners and understand and consider team members’ perspectives before making decisions that affect everyone on the team.

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