Top 10 Characteristics of a Good Project Manager [With Examples] in 2023


Project managers are crucial to directing, managing and delivering a project properly to the clients. They help deliver the project on time while keeping their team dynamics in mind. The project manager must allocate among their team members without any conflict. 

A good project manager is always responsible for their team and ensures that their work positively impacts the organisation’s overall reputation. Project managers must possess specific soft skills and qualities to handle such a management role. If you are thinking of learning about the characteristics of project management, check out upGrad’s Certificate in Product Management from DUKE

This blog will give a detailed overview of the best characteristics of a project manager and how these align with the characteristics of project management

Characteristics of a Project Manager

Communication Skills

It is common to have miscommunications while working with a group of people. The project manager’s role is to minimise such miscommunications and establish an understanding and healthy work environment. 

One of the best characteristics of a project manager is learning how to communicate properly and avoid any conflicts. This, in turn, would help in running the projects smoothly. 

One of the most pivotal components of establishing good communication skills is to try to be open and honest with coworkers. This, in turn, would build trust between project managers and other team members to resolve any conflict. It also encourages team members to contribute ideas and thoughts to a discussion without disagreements or biases. 

Ability to Take Smart Risks

Risk management is one of the most crucial characteristics of a project manager. The project manager sometimes has to take certain risks to benefit the project, team, or organisation. However, a good project manager must always take smart risks to benefit the organisation and the clients in the long run. 

The primary objective of risk management in project management is taking care of anything that could keep the project from reaching its ultimate goal. The ability to foresee any future risks and mitigate them smartly is one of the must-have characteristics of being a good project manager. 

Decision-Making Abilities

Decision-making is one of the most critical managerial skills. This is one of the most crucial abilities every project manager should have to help their team grow. 

Decision-making abilities are aligned with smart risk management and other critical soft skills. If the project manager is not smart enough to make the right call for both the team and its organisation, it hampers not only the reputation of the organisation but also harms the overall team rapport. 

A good project manager should be tactical and quick in their decision-making. This would help them rise through the management and benefit the company in the long run. 

An Excellent Leader

Leadership is also an essential quality of a good project manager. A project manager is assigned to a specific team who works on a particular project. To manage the team, the project manager has to be well-versed with leadership qualities. They should also be considerate enough to cater to the team’s needs and develop constructive strategies to maintain their morale. 

Being a good leader also helps the project manager to create a good rapport with the management. This would be a feasible way to rise through the ranks and take up more crucial managerial roles. 

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Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

Being creative is an essential prerequisite to being a good project manager. Managing a team and tactically mitigating any problem affecting team morale would be easier with a creative mindset.

Problem-solving is also one of the crucial qualities of a good project manager. If the project manager is not perceptive and is unaware of how to solve the problems, it will not benefit the team and the organisation. 

Here are a few steps one can keep in mind to address problems better:

  • Defining the crux of the problem
  • Identifying reasons for the problem
  • Brainstorming ideas to come up with solutions
  • Choosing the most appropriate solutions
  • Taking necessary actions for solving problems

The above are the key points to manage the efficiency of a workplace. This, in turn, helps the project manager develop creative solutions for any problem. 

Understanding of Human Behaviour and Psychology

A working group is dynamic and is constantly reorganised. Therefore, the probability of colleagues who might not know each other personally will shuffle. The project manager has to be extra careful in understanding human behaviour to mitigate any risk of misunderstandings and interpersonal conflicts. 

Dealing with “professional relationships” might be tricky, and various adversities might arise. However, one of the most valuable project manager strengths is fighting adversities and keeping the team together. This can only be possible if the project manager understands human psychology and behaviour. Therefore, understanding human behaviour is crucial to becoming a good project manager. 

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The Ability to Lead and Motivate Others 

As discussed, the project manager must have impeccable leadership skills. These leadership skills come in handy for sustaining team motivation. 

Team motivation plays a vital role for a project manager. The quality of inspiring and motivating the team is an essential skill for determining the team dynamic. The ability to communicate, negotiate, and influence is a critical aspect of improving team performance. 

Leadership skills are indispensable in project management. To strengthen the project attributes, project management skills like leadership and communication are vital, which would positively impact the project and the team. Having the expertise to motivate people and influence them to work in the organisation will help project managers ascend the career ladder. 

Critical Thinking and Analytical Abilities

Critical thinking is a process that examines any situation objectively. Critical thinking is intertwined with problem-solving skills. The project manager has to think open-mindedly and thereby recognise and assess the implications of the problem with practical consequences. 

On the other hand, analytical abilities help the project managers analyse the problem rationally and decide on solutions according to the project’s needs. 

The analytical thought process follows these steps: 

  • Identifying the issue
  • Collecting valuable information through observations
  • Coming up with possible solutions and understanding the topic
  • Testing those solutions and new ideas based on the crux of the topic
  • Post-analysing or reviewing the solutions to apply new learnings

Empathy, Sympathy, Flexibility, and Adaptability

Empathy, sympathy, flexibility and adaptability are primary emotional skills a project manager must possess to deal with their team and make a mark on the organisation. The above qualities are crucial in strengthening workplace bonds and resolving crises with constructive solutions. 

Understanding the emotions of co-workers is a critical feature in the corporate environment. This helps you understand the adversities they are facing at the workplace. Being a project manager, you can mitigate those adversities and help them grow and adapt in the workplace. The emotional skills of empathy, flexibility, sympathy, and adaptability help shape the team and address any potential workplace conflict. 

A Good Sense of Humour

A good sense of humour helps maintain a healthy and positive work environment. This motivates the team members and nurtures positive relationships with stakeholders and clients. Even though developing a good sense of humour is not a particular soft skill, it is essential if the project manager has any. 

A good sense of humour can also be valuable in boosting the team morale. It acts as a stress reliever, helping the project manager and their team handle pressure effectively and with a positive attitude. Appropriate use of humour also effectively ensures engaging and memorable communication with team members, clients and stakeholders. 

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Being a project manager entails tons of responsibilities. A good project manager embodies both hard and soft skills that help run the organisation seamlessly. Apart from these soft skills, a project manager should have essential qualities like prioritising and goal setting, negotiation skills, and budget and time management skills. 

If you want to master the various skills and characteristics of project management, check out the PG Certificate in Product Management from DUKE. The certification course will help you learn and master relevant project management skills through the best-in-class content from industry leaders and experts. The course guarantees 100% placement in top companies. Visit upGrad to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the good qualities to become a project manager?

A project manager's strengths consist of soft and hard skills. These skills include: Communication. Organisation. Time and money management. Problem-solving and decision-making. Leadership.

Why are hard skills important in project management?

Project management calls for both hard and soft skills. However, hard skills hold more importance because they are essential for project managers to fulfil their key roles and responsibilities. These skills enable project managers to plan, schedule and manage projects effectively.

What is a key skill for being a good project manager?

One must have impeccable communication skills to become a good project manager and rise through the ranks easily. Communication skills help the project manager convey their ideas to the team, stakeholders, and clients to avoid discrepancies. Good communication skill is also indispensable for managing budget and deadlines.

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