10 Essential Traits Every Good Project Manager Should Have

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Traits of Highly Effective Project Managers

  • Exceptional communication skills are crucial to a successful project manager
  • Strong leadership and team management abilities are to lead a project to success.
  • Proficiency in solving and decision-making is essential to overcoming challenges.
  • High emotional intelligence and empathy help build strong relationships and foster.
  • Effective time management and organisational abilities ensure projects stay on track.
  • Adaptability and flexibility are key traits for navigating dynamic environments.

What Makes a Good Project Manager?

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, project management has become an integral part of organisations across industries. A project manager plays a crucial role in ensuring the successful execution and completion of projects, meeting deadlines, and achieving desired outcomes.

However, not all project managers are created equal. To be truly effective and excel in their role, good project managers must possess certain essential traits that set them apart.

These traits go beyond technical skills and qualifications and encompass qualities that enable them to lead teams, solve problems, communicate effectively, and adapt to dynamic environments.

So, what makes a good project manager?

In this blog, we will explore the ten essential traits that every good project manager should have.

From exceptional communication skills to the ability to motivate and inspire teams, these traits are integral to the success of any project.

So, let’s dive in.

10 Key Traits of a Successful Project Manager

Being a successful project manager requires a unique blend of skills, qualities, and attributes.

By the end of this guide, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the essential traits that make a good project manager great and how you can further develop these traits to excel in your own project management career.

At Seven Learning, we offer a variety of online project management courses. Browse our courses, or contact our team to discuss your goals.

Here are ten key traits that every good project manager should have:

1. Exceptional Communication Skills

Effective communication is at the core of successful project management. A good project manager must be able to communicate clearly, concisely, and confidently with stakeholders, team members, and clients.

Clear communication ensures that everyone understands project goals, roles, and expectations, reducing the risk of miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Additionally, a good project manager possesses active listening skills, allowing them to understand and address concerns or issues raised by team members.

By fostering open and transparent communication, project managers can build strong relationships, promote collaboration, and keep the project on track.

Business Project Management System

2. Strong Leadership and Team Management

Strong leadership and team management skills are essential for a project manager to effectively lead a team towards project success.

A good project manager inspires and motivates team members, sets clear expectations, and provides guidance and support throughout the project lifecycle.

They can assign tasks based on team members’ strengths and skills, fostering a collaborative and productive work environment.

Additionally, a good project manager ensures that team members have the necessary resources and support to carry out their tasks effectively. By leading by example and empowering their team, project managers can create a positive and high-performing team culture.

3. Proficiency in Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Problem-solving and decision-making abilities are crucial for a project manager to navigate challenges and make informed decisions. A good project manager possesses strong analytical and critical thinking skills, allowing them to identify and assess problems or obstacles that may arise during the project.

They can then develop effective strategies to overcome these challenges and keep the project on track. Additionally, good project managers make timely and well-informed decisions, considering all relevant factors and weighing the potential risks and benefits.

Their decisiveness ensures that the project progresses smoothly and efficiently.

4. High Emotional Intelligence and Empathy

Emotional intelligence and empathy play a crucial role in project management. A good project manager understands the emotions and perspectives of team members, stakeholders, and clients, allowing them to build strong relationships and foster teamwork.

They can effectively communicate with empathy, tailoring their approach to individual team members and stakeholders.

By demonstrating empathy, a good project manager can create a supportive and collaborative work environment, where team members feel valued and motivated to contribute their best work. This, in turn, leads to increased team cohesion and project success.

5. Effective Time Management and Organisational Abilities

Time management and organisational abilities are vital for a project manager to ensure that projects are completed within the specified timelines and budgets.

A good project manager can prioritise tasks, set realistic deadlines, and allocate resources efficiently. They develop detailed project plans, including milestones and action items, and monitor progress to ensure that the project stays on track.

Additionally, good project managers possess strong organisational skills, allowing them to keep track of project documentation, schedules, and budgets. By effectively managing time and resources, project managers can increase productivity and achieve project goals.

6. Adaptability and Flexibility in Dynamic Environments

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, adaptability and flexibility are crucial traits for a project manager. A good project manager can navigate dynamic environments, embracing change and adjusting plans as needed.

They are open to new ideas and approaches, allowing them to adapt to shifting priorities and unexpected challenges. Additionally, good project managers are flexible in their leadership style, tailoring their approach to the needs and preferences of individual team members.

By being adaptable and flexible, project managers can effectively manage change and ensure the successful completion of projects.

7. A Deep Understanding of Project Management Tools and Techniques

A good project manager possesses a deep understanding of project management tools and techniques. They are proficient in using project management software and tools to plan, track, and manage projects effectively.

Additionally, good project managers stay updated with the latest industry trends and best practices, continuously enhancing their knowledge and skills. By leveraging project management tools and techniques, project managers can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and optimise resource allocation.

This ultimately contributes to the successful execution and delivery of projects.

Project Management Courses

8. The Ability to Motivate and Inspire Teams

Motivating and inspiring teams is a key trait of a good project manager. They can create a positive and motivating work environment, where team members feel engaged and empowered.

Good project managers recognise and appreciate the efforts and contributions of team members, providing positive feedback and recognition. They also provide clear direction and communicate the project’s vision and goals, inspiring team members to give their best.

By motivating and inspiring teams, project managers can foster a culture of excellence and maximise team performance.

9. Commitment to Continuous Learning and Improvement

A good project manager is committed to continuous learning and improvement. They actively seek opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge, staying updated with the latest industry trends and best practices.

Good project managers take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as attending workshops, online courses, conferences, or formal education programs.

They also learn from their experiences and reflect on lessons learned, applying that knowledge to future projects. By committing to continuous learning and improvement, project managers can stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional results.

10. Risk Management and Mitigation Strategies

Risk management is a critical skill for a project manager. A good project manager possesses the ability to identify potential risks and develop effective strategies to mitigate them. They conduct thorough risk assessments, considering both internal and external factors that may impact the project.

Good project managers also develop contingency plans, allowing them to respond and adapt in the face of unforeseen circumstances. By effectively managing risks, project managers can minimise potential disruptions and ensure the successful delivery of projects.

Enhancing Your Project Management Skills: Why a Course is Beneficial

To enhance your project management skills and excel in your role, formal education and training can be highly beneficial. Project management courses provide a structured and comprehensive approach to learning the fundamental principles, tools, and techniques of project management.

Additionally, pursuing a project management certification, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, can enhance your credibility and open up new career opportunities.

By investing in your professional development and acquiring new skills, you can elevate your project management skills and make a significant impact in your career.

Related: What is a Project Management Course? Ultimate Guide

The Importance of Formal Education in Project Management

Formal education in project management provides a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that can greatly benefit project managers. Project management courses offer a structured curriculum that covers key concepts, best practices, and real-world examples.

These courses provide a comprehensive understanding of project management methodologies, tools, and techniques. Additionally, pursuing a formal project management education allows project managers to learn from industry experts, engage in interactive discussions, and gain valuable insights from peers.

By obtaining a formal education in project management, project managers can enhance their capabilities and credibility, setting themselves apart in a competitive job market.

How Project Management Courses Can Elevate Your Career

Project management courses can have a significant impact on your career trajectory. These courses provide you with the knowledge, skills, and techniques required to excel in project management roles.

By completing a project management course, you demonstrate your commitment to professional development and continuous learning, making you a valuable asset to employers. Additionally, project management courses often provide opportunities for networking and connecting with industry professionals, enhancing your career prospects.

Project management certifications, such as the PMP certification, can open doors to new job opportunities and higher salaries. By investing in your project management skills through formal education, you can elevate your career and achieve long-term success in the field.

Related: What is PMP Certification?

Selecting the Right Project Management Course for You

When selecting a project management course, it is important to consider your specific needs, goals, and learning preferences. There are a variety of project management courses available, ranging from basic introductory courses to advanced specialised programs. It is important to choose a course that aligns with your current skill level and desired career path.

Additionally, consider factors such as the course curriculum, delivery format (online or in-person), instructor expertise, and accreditation. Reading reviews and testimonials from previous students can also provide valuable insights into the quality and effectiveness of the course.

By selecting the right project management course for you, you can maximise your learning experience and gain the skills and knowledge needed to excel in your project management career.

Woman sitting at desk working on online course


In essence, being a successful project manager entails a combination of exceptional communication, leadership, problem-solving, and time-management skills. Emotional intelligence, adaptability, and a commitment to continuous learning also play vital roles.

By honing these traits, you not only inspire your team but also mitigate risks effectively. Furthering your project management skills through courses can significantly boost your career prospects.

Real-world examples showcase the impact of adept project management, emphasising the importance of practical experience. Always remember, that continual improvement and staying updated on industry trends are key to standing out as a top-notch project manager in any field.

Enroll in an Online Project Management Course with Seven Learning

Signing up for an online course with Seven Learning offers a fantastic chance to improve your project management abilities conveniently and efficiently. 

Seven Learning offers a wide variety of online project management courses designed to cater to different skill levels and professional requirements, providing a flexible and easily accessible learning environment. 

Whether you aim to advance your career or expand your knowledge, Seven Learning’s online courses provide a convenient and thorough approach to professional growth. 

Take the initial step toward mastering project management today by exploring our online project management courses or reaching out to our expert team to find the perfect learning path for your objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a Good Project Manager Stand Out?

A good project manager stands out by possessing exceptional communication, leadership, problem-solving, and time management skills. They build strong relationships, motivate teams, and adapt to dynamic environments, setting themselves apart in the field of project management.

How Can I Improve My Project Management Skills?

Improving project management skills involves continuous learning, professional development, and practical experience. Project managers can enhance their skills through formal education, certifications, workshops, and by learning from real-world projects and industry experts.

What makes you the best project manager?

The best project manager possesses strong leadership, communication, and organisational skills. They excel at setting clear goals, developing detailed plans, and effectively delegating tasks. Their ability to adapt to change, mitigate risks, and foster a collaborative team environment ensures successful project delivery. Continuous improvement and professionalism are also key attributes.

What Are the Most Valuable Certifications for Project Managers?

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is highly regarded and recognised globally. Other valuable certifications include the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), PRINCE2, and Agile certifications such as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP).

How Do Project Management Skills Translate Across Industries?

Project management skills are transferable across industries. While the specific project content may vary, the core skills of communication, leadership, problem-solving, and time management are applicable in any industry or sector.

Can Good Project Management Skills Compensate for Technical Knowledge Gaps?

Good project management skills can help compensate for technical knowledge gaps to some extent. While technical expertise is important, effective project management practices and essential traits can ensure successful project outcomes even without deep technical knowledge.

Qualities of a Successful Project Manager

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