What Traits Should a Project Manager Have?

The role of a project manager is vital to completing projects and achieving company goals. It involves many tasks, including planning, coordinating, and monitoring progress as teams work. How well a manager performs these tasks significantly impacts the team’s ability to work together, adhere to project timelines, and remain within prescribed budgets.

How can you know if your project manager has what it takes to see projects through to completion? While no hard and fast rule describes every successful project manager, there are qualities commonly shared by individuals who excel in this role. If you need to hire a project manager, a Salt Lake City professional placement service can help you identify candidates who exhibit these traits.

5 Traits of Top-Performing Project Managers

Communicates Clearly and Effectively

Communication skills are vital to the success of employees in almost any role. However, as a leader, project managers must possess superior communication skills. This person needs to ensure that all those working on a project are working towards the same goals. Providing team members with a shared project vision helps to unify their efforts and see how their work fits into the larger picture.

Managers are also responsible for ensuring team members understand and meet expectations. Employees who are unsure of what is expected of them risk falling short or missing the mark. It is vital to clearly communicate what is expected of each individual, as well as how they are performing in relation to those expectations. Constructive feedback can increase individual productivity and accomplishments, boosting overall team performance.

Empowers Others

Some leaders have a difficult time handing over important tasks to other individuals. Whether they feel they can do a better job or think others have too much on their plate already, this hesitancy to delegate work hinders individual and team growth.

Great leaders get to know every member of their team. They learn their strengths and weaknesses so that as tasks arise, they can delegate to individuals capable of performing the job admirably. This does not always mean that they already have the skills. Sometimes, the best decision is to assign the task to someone capable of tackling the problem or someone who needs to learn a new skill. By providing team members with opportunities, managers expand the skills and knowledge of their team members.

Once an individual accepts a task, it is wise to take a step back and let them complete it. Closely monitoring their progress or watching over their shoulder sends a clear message that you do not fully trust them to do it right. Most employees will rise to the occasion when presented with a challenge.

Overcomes Problems

Can you think of the last time a project at work went off without a hitch? Such projects are few and far between. Hurdles often arise during the course of a project and are almost always impossible to anticipate. The only thing in the control of your project manager is how they respond when they arise.

While project managers should be masters of problem solving, they do not need to be the one who finds the solution every time. A project manager facilitates the efforts of those familiar with the associated parts and pieces of the project to find the solution. They should be adept at identifying what needs to be done and who needs to be involved in getting the project back on track quickly. It may mean pulling in employees from other teams or departments.

Sets the Example

From the time we are very young, we learn how to navigate the world around us by watching others. We pay special attention to those we admire, such as parents, teachers, and even our peers. The behavior and attitudes employees exhibit in the workplace often reflect the behavior and attitudes of those in leadership positions. A project manager who gives 100% in everything they do is more likely to have a team that does the same.

Likewise, their enthusiasm for what they do is contagious. Their positive attitude draws others towards them and motivates them to approach the job with a smile. It is important to remember that the situation should not dictate your attitude; rather, it is a decision each individual has the power to make for themselves. Choosing to be upbeat at work will help create a positive atmosphere.

Is Decisive

When all eyes are on you, it can be challenging to make a decision. However, making tough decisions comes with the territory for project managers. Will they get every decision right? No. They are human, and they will make the wrong call sometimes. But, leaders need to have the courage to do their best and accept the outcome for better or worse.

The consequences could come in the form of criticism from others, lost time or labor, or missed opportunities. Wise managers don’t see these decisions as failures, though. They learn from these scenarios and become better leaders as a result of them. The important thing is that they use the knowledge they have to ask quickly and decisively, when necessary, to stop problems from developing into more significant hurdles for the project.

Not every employee is equipped with the skills to be a project manager. Even among project managers, some are more successful than others. Placing the right individuals in key positions is critical to the success of your business this year. For help finding the best project managers, contact us at PrincePerelson. Our professional job recruiters have over 30 years of experience helping Utah companies hire the best candidates.


There are traits that effective project managers frequently have in common, yet there is no hard and fast rule that characterizes every great project manager. A professional placement firm in Salt Lake City can assist you in finding people that possess these qualities if you need to recruit project managers.

5 Traits of Top-Performing Project Managers Infographic


What Traits Should a Project Manager Have?