Leading a team to the completion of a project can hinge on being able to identify skill gaps that may inhibit success. Often, teams may be made up of individuals who have strong technical skills, but lack relational ones. The best project leaders can transform good teams to great ones by focusing on “soft,” or more relational skills. Mastering these skills can not only improve your own leadership growth, but it can also inspire those around you to seek improved performance and project success.
Communicating effectively to your team will help:
- Mitigate problems and conflicts
- Keep projects on track
- Motivate your team to complete the project on time, on budget, and with your organization’s strategic goals in mind
Conflict management applies to both the project and the team. Going into a project, potential risks might be noted, but if they aren’t addressed properly, they can negatively affect a project. Keeping communication flowing through different methods and channels can strengthen accountability among team members. Open communication also allows potential pitfalls to be more readily recognized so they can be avoided or addressed.
Communication also applies to solving interpersonal conflicts. Empower your team to come to you with issues, and address problems that might arise between team members with direct communication.
Staying on Track
Projects are comprised of interdependencies and rely on groups of people working together. When any group or person starts operating independently without checking in with anyone, it can start to hinder project progress. Effective project leaders must have the ability to break down silos that exist among teams that are cross-functional and geographically dispersed.
They should establish clear and consistent communication to keep all stakeholders informed with relevant updates, and to remind independent operators of their role in the context of a bigger picture.
Achieving Strategic Goals
As a project leader, your job pulls you in many different directions. One day your focus may center around handling an interpersonal conflict, and the next it may be about a budget allocation issue. Regardless of the day’s challenge, it is critical for leaders to always be a motivational force for their teams while keeping the organization’s shared goals in mind.
Tracking progress, holding team members accountable, and finding ways to positively communicate end goals help keep a group motivated and engaged toward completing a project. Moreover, communicating things like the importance of each team member’s role within the project keeps people motivated to not just finish, but also to play a contributing role in the organization’s larger strategic success.
Leadership without relational skills often leads to teams that lack purposeful direction. Managing with strong communication can take your team from good to great. This type of transformation can lead to growth and advancement among team members as well as the larger organization.
Strategy Execution is a global leader in organizational training addressing the inherently volatile and complex business environment that now requires a more holistic and adaptive approach to managing projects. We enable people to close the strategy execution gap and drive higher organizational performance by strengthening project leadership skills. By combining the best of cutting-edge university research and proven business techniques, we deliver training designed to increase alignment and engagement across teams, business units, or the entire enterprise. Learn more today at strategyex.com. Join the conversation on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.