We examine how project management skills and parenting skills go hand in hand making parents ideal recruits as new project managers. – There is a very specific set of project management skills that any project manager will need to learn to help them with their role.
The same could be said of becoming a parent. As a new parent, there is a whole new set of skills that you need to learn – some come naturally, and others have to be learned and practiced over time. In many ways, both roles have some significant similarities. Here, we will examine how the two may well go hand in hand making parents ideal recruits as new project managers.
Time Constraints And Time Management
One of the key problems that many project managers face is that of time management, setting deadlines, and ensuring that they are kept to in order to make sure that a project runs smoothly. As any new parent will tell you when you have a child, time management is key, except now it is another person who depends on you for everything who drives your timetable.
Whilst you may see this as a disadvantage, having to cater to a child’s needs and be more aware of time constraints can in fact help you to be more aware of the needs of others, and even more of an effective team member.
Being Part Of A-Team
As a project manager, you may often find that your team members consider you to be a little outside their circle and perhaps less approachable. However, when you become a parent it’s a bit like being welcomed into a secret club; everyone will have their own experiences and tips they are more than happy to share, and this can lead to people being more open. Team members may feel you are more approachable, and this means you will hear of problems in a timelier manner, allowing you additional time to find the solutions you need.
On any training course for PMs, one of the key things you will learn is that good communication is key. But it is important to understand that your role will entail different types of communication. How you communicate with your stakeholder will be completely different from how you might communicate with the members of your team. Having a child in your life can be a real test of those communication skills and can help you really hone your skills in communicating with people who can be a little difficult, and resistant to any change.
One thing that both being a parent and being a project manager have in common is the need to learn to prioritize whatever tasks you need to complete. Whilst you may already think you know this as a project manager it can certainly help to clarify the differences that exist between a situation when something is incredibly urgent, a crisis, or simply something that has upset someone.
In project and family situations there can be demanding individuals who think their issue should take priority, but it’s your job to identify true priorities in a dispassionate way. This can also help to make it much easier to work out how you should deal with different types of situations.
Of course, being a parent won’t necessarily make you a better project manager, but there is certainly some cross-over in the skills that both roles require that could certainly help make parents better equipped to take on the demands of project management.
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