Soft Skills

<posted on it-toolbox.com>

This is something of a prompt for feedback from the Project Management community. In my Systems Analysis and Design class one of the things that my professor has brought up frequently is that a project manager needs to have soft skills.

I've seen a number of articles on the web including Online Project Management Training: Soft Skills, and it does underscore the importance of soft skills at various stages. There are also 2-3 day soft skill seminars available.

Obviously, a project manager needs to deal effectively with people throughout a project. The course textbook also has some comments, but I am wondering what working professionals think about this. Though helpful, I don't think on-line training or a 3 day seminar will give me all I need. As far as soft skills are concerned, what do I need to know, what areas of study do I need to pursue, and what experience do I need to have to be an effective project manager?

As a side note, are technical skills being under-rated in project management? It appears to me that a project manager needs to not only sell their plan for the project, but that they must have the expertise in all related areas to effectively manage. I have seen too many managers that are good at selling an idea, but who are ineffective as a manager. Is that a problem in the PM field?

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