Develop your Personal Skills


to be a Complete Project Manager



Randall L. Englund, MBA, NPDP, CBM
Senior Executive Consultant
Utah, USA


Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI Fellow
Managing Partner, BUCERO PM Consulting
Madrid, Spain


Project managers are a very special breed of people, requiring a complete set of skills. The uncertain project environment forces project managers to adapt to circumstances and deal with them. We strongly believe the only things not flexible in life are stones. However, sometimes excessive project manager flexibility can damage him or her because other people may abuse that situation and create negative project results. Project managers are in great demand, and we believe that will increasingly be the case as the need for effective technologists continues to soar. Good project managers are trained, not born. We believe the right project managers are people who want to be in that position. They develop skills through experience, practice, and education. They become better project managers each time they successfully deliver a project. They learn new techniques and apply them on their projects. They learn lessons—sometimes the hard way—to be better managers and leaders in the future.

Skills for Dealing with Individuals

Project managers need to deal with people. In very few organizations the project manager can choose his/her team members. Usually available team members are assigned to the project, and probably not all of them are skilled enough. So project managers need to develop skills that include:

  • Networking:  The ability to assess the quality of working relationships, to identify where better relationships are required in order to complete the project, and develop a wider support network.
  • Building trust and rapport:  Developing a positive attitude in those who might be called upon for support.
  • Winning commitment to project goals:  This is not just a matter of having project goals; it is ensuring that everyone is sufficiently motivated to help the project manager deliver them.
  • Listening:  Listening is a vital skill at all times, especially to recognize emerging risks.
  • Counseling skills:  The project manager does not have to become a counselor, but these skills can be used to overcome personal emergencies.
  • Appropriate use of power:  Project managers’ relationships with power are often very complex. Power is necessary and needs to be used appropriately; otherwise the goodwill and productivity of people vital to project success are lost.
  • Delegation:  This is a basic management skill and a vital one in a project environment. Some project managers, often those who come from a technical background, run into difficulties when not delegating sufficiently or appropriately.
  • Conflict Management and Negotiation:  Conflict can be a good thing. When it is managed well, project managers win respect and commitment and find better solutions to problems.

Managing from the Heart

Here is a touching example from one of my (Englund) on-line learning colleagues.  Very early in her career, Brenda was a direct report to a manager whom she still admires as a leader to this day.  “Although I no longer work for her, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be coached and mentored by her.  She helped to shape the leader that I am today.”

“Margaret (I’ve changed her name slightly) is very skilled at the political games that the senior management team engages in.  She has great vision for the organization, and she knows how to inspire her people to be their best.  She is the type of leader that people do not want to disappoint by doing things halfheartedly; because she never gives less than 100%.  But best of all, she is an all-around genuinely nice person.”

Brenda applied for a position as a lateral move but in a high visibility position that would have put her in front of the senior management team on a regular basis. “I had all of the qualifications for the position: a bachelor’s degree in business, a master’s degree, and 13 years of operations experience.  In my mind, there was absolutely no reason why I should not get the job.”


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally published in 2013 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Istanbul, Turkey  It is republished here with the authors’ permission.

How to cite this paper: Englund, R. L., and Bucero, A.  (2023, 2013). Develop your Personal Skills to be a Complete Project Manager, Originally published in 2013 PMI Global Congress Proceedings, Istanbul, Turkey; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue V, May 2023. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj129-May2023-Englund-Bucero-develop-your-personal-skills-2nd-ed-2.pdf

About the Authors

Randall L. Englund

Utah, USA


Randall L. Englund, MBA, NPDP, CBM believes all leaders need to create healthy environments for people to consistently and sustainably achieve project success. Sponsors can do a better job of guiding and supporting project teams, and project managers can expand their people skills.

Randall offers keynote talks, consulting, professional facilitation, executive education, and advanced training services to people in management, managing projects, and working on project teams. His approach includes the behavioral, technical, business, and change management aspects that create an environment for project success. The goal is to get greater, optimized results from projects underway or contemplated in the organization. An organic approach to implementing project, program, and portfolio management taps the inherent power of people to work in harmony, have fun, and be more productive.

Randy provides management and leadership awareness through presentations, workshops, seminars, consulting engagements, books, conference papers, blogs, and online University courses. His experiences stem from 22 years at Hewlett-Packard, as a senior project manager in a corporate Project Management Initiative, and as a seminar leader for the Project Management Institute. He was awarded the PMI Distinguished Contributions Award in 2013 as well as Eric Jenett Award of Excellence in 2018.

Randall can be contacted at englundr@englundpmc.com


Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain


Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, ACE, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, SFC, IPMO-E, PMI Fellow, is an International Correspondent and Contributing Editor for the PM World Journal in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Bucero is also founder and Managing Partner of BUCERO PM Consulting.  Alfonso was the founder, sponsor and president of the PMI Barcelona Chapter until April 2005, and belongs to PMI’s LIAG (Leadership Institute Advisory Group).  He was the past President of the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter, and then nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Now he is a member of the PMIEF Engagement Committee. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 32 years of practical experience and is actively engaged in advancing the PM profession in Spain and throughout Europe. He received the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award on October 9th, 2010, the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011 and the PMI Eric Jenett Excellence Award on October 28th, 2017.

Mr. Bucero can be contacted at alfonso.bucero@abucero.com.