Basic skills and behaviors:

personal mastery, leadership, teaming, and ethics


Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management
A series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and the success rate of projects


By Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy



Which are those modern and advanced interpersonal skills that are basic to managing effectively both relationships and communications with a variety of stakeholders who have diverse interests, expectations, and characteristics?  Actually, the development of interpersonal skills is not only a consequence of the learning of tools, methodologies, and techniques, but it is based on a continuous individual learning path, which, in turn, relies on increasing personal knowledge, abilities, and experience, and, then, needs the ownership and the continuous improvement of personal skills, too. In fact, personal skills and interpersonal behavior integrate in a “professional self”, whose basic continuous-learning approach to stakeholders has to be the result of the growth of both “how to be” and “how to behave” skills: therefore, personal mastery is essential to improve organizational behavior too, and it becomes the foundation also for developing leadership and teamwork, which always were, and still are, crucial factors to achieve both efficacy and efficiency in project management.

Personal mastery is one of those four core disciplines (the others are mental models, shared vision, and team learning) of learning organizations that are integrated in the fifth discipline “System Thinking”, and it can be defined as «the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively» (Senge, 2006). Although personal mastery is based on both the development of competences and/or skills, and on spiritual growth, it goes beyond all of them (Senge, 2006) in the direction of proficiency: indeed, it integrates two perspectives that are foundational in managing stakeholder relationships, communication, and project itself, which are, first, the focus on objectives to be achieved, i.e. answering to the question “what is really important”, and, second, the continuous learning approach based on the clear and updated assessment of the reality, i.e. answering to the question “what is real”. Actually, in stakeholder relationship management, the assessment of the real situation is fundamental in stakeholder identification and analysis processes, while focus on objectives to be achieved and to expectations to be satisfied, becomes essential in stakeholder management processes.

Moreover, personal mastery is the basic state to enable that self-awareness, which is not only one of the four domains of emotional intelligence, but it is also the foundation of the other three, i.e. personal management, social-awareness, and relationship management. Above emotional intelligence groups of competencies are crucial for leadership, and specifically for that resonant leadership, which represents the great and effective ability of connecting personally with the followers (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2002) –and/or, in project management, with the stakeholders. In fact, each one of the four emotional intelligence domains interact with others, and includes a set of core leadership competencies, as follows.

The personal competencies refer to the capabilities of managing ourselves, and they consist in self-awareness and self-management competence groups. The self-awareness competencies group includes the emotional self-awareness, the accurate self-assessment, and the self-confidence. The self-management competencies group includes emotional self-control, the transparency, the adaptability, the achievement, the initiative, and the optimism.

The social competencies refer to the capabilities of managing relationships with others, and they consist in social awareness, and relationship management, competence groups. Social awareness competence group includes the empathy, the organizational awareness, and the service, which is the capability of understanding and meeting follower, client, or customer needs (and, in project management domain, stakeholder needs and expectations). The relationship management competence group includes competencies and skills that can be all directly related to project management, and that all are of extraordinary importance in it, as change catalyst, developing others (coaching), and, above all, conflict management, inspirational leadership, teamwork and collaboration, and influence.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Massimo Pirozzi are based on the Author’s Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to Increase Value and Success Rates of Projects”, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton (FL), U.S.A., October 2019.

How to cite this paper: Pirozzi, M. (2020), Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management: a series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and success rate of projects, Basic skills and behaviors: personal mastery, leadership, teaming, and ethics, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue X, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pmwj98-Oct2020-Pirozzi-stakeholder-perspective-series5-Basic-skills-and-behaviors.pdf



About the Author

Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy


Massimo Pirozzi, MSc cum laude, Electronic Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Principal Consultant, Project Manager, and Educator. He is a Member and the Secretary of the Executive Board, a Member of the Scientific Committee, and an Accredited Master Teacher, of the Istituto Italiano di Project Management (Italian Institute of Project Management). He is certified as a Professional Project Manager, as an Information Security Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as an International Mediator. He is a Researcher, a Lecturer, and an Author about Stakeholder Management, Relationship Management, and Complex Projects Management, and his papers have been published in U.S.A., in Italy, and in Russia; in particular, he is the Author of the Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to enhance Project value and Success”, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, October 2019.  He has a wide experience in managing large and complex projects in national and international contexts, and in managing relations with public and private organizations, including multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes, and non-profit organizations. He worked successfully in several sectors, including Defense, Security, Health, Education, Cultural Heritage, Transport, Gaming, Services to Citizens, Consulting, and Web. He was also, for many years, a Top Manager in ICT Industry, and an Adjunct Professor in Organizational Psychology. He is registered as an Expert both of the European Commission, and of Italian Public Administrations.

Massimo Pirozzi serves as an International Correspondent in Italy for the PM World Journal. He received two 2019 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Awards for his featured paper “Stakeholders, Who Are They?”, and for his report from Italy titled “PM Expo® and PM Maturity Model ISIPM-Prado®”. He received also the 2018 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Award for his featured paper “The Stakeholder Management Perspective to Increase the Success Rate of Complex Projects”.

Massimo can be contacted at max.pirozzi@gmail.com

To view other works by Massimo Pirozzi, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/massimo-pirozzi/