To be an expert in any field, you should possess professional knowledge, hard skills, specific background, and professional experience.

Read more: What Do Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google Look for in Project Managers?

But what about personal traits and qualities? Do they play a significant role in your career? Let’s immerse deeper into the sphere of project management from the perspective of character traits that assist in gaining your occupational success.

Key Responsibilities of a Project Manager 

First off, let’s dwell upon the responsibilities and duties a project manager in any organization has. 

A project manager is a person who runs the project from the very beginning up to its completion. Therefore, they’re responsible for the whole project’s life cycle. So what does a project consist of?

Project Life Cycle and Different Levels of PM’s Responsibilities

A project consists of four stages:

  • Initiation, 
  • Planning,
  • Execution, and
  • Closure.

Therefore, the project manager’s duties vary depending on every stage. 

The Initiation Stage

During the initiation stage, a PM should define project goals, deadlines, limits, budget, and other related data. To this end, they should meet clients and stakeholders and discuss every detail. What’s important here is that they can face some misunderstandings during communication. Besides, clients and stakeholders may express their thoughts ambiguously, which may cause some troubles in the future. 

This stage also covers a lot of work that is related to deep research, analysis, and further discussion. A project manager has not only to consider and analyze project goals but also identify and evaluate project risks and constraints as well as set up priorities. 

During this stage, a PM also creates a project scope. As a result of the Initiation stage, a project manager creates a project proposal, which then they discuss with the clients and stakeholders before creating a project plan.

The Planning Stage

Then the main objective of a project manager is to plan the execution of a project or several projects considering all existing details. This plan is a roadmap for all project team members and if any arguments arise it serves as a source of all project-related information that cannot cause any doubts. 

During this stage, a project manager defines all project tasks, makes estimations, and considers resource allocation issues. They create a project roadmap that the team then uses as a guide in their work. 

The Execution Stage

The project execution stage is the core phase during which the project team works on project task completion. Here the main responsibility of a project manager is to control the process, timely react to any project flow changes, address arising challenges by interacting with the team members, and communicate with stakeholders keeping them informed. Reporting on the results is one of the key duties of any project manager during this stage.

The Closure Stage

The final stage presupposes preparing the final report, analyzing the results, and discussing them with the stakeholders. A project can’t be closed until the clients sign all the necessary documents. If some questions or arguments arise, it’s up to a project manager to resolve the issues and suggest the best solution. Besides, it’s time for meetings with your team members to sum up and provide feedback. Keep in mind that there’s hardly any project that can be finished without a hitch, which is why a project manager should be ready to communicate not only positive aspects of the work performed but also outline some gaps in their job and discuss possible ways to avoid these problems in the future. The analysis of mistakes is a difficult but necessary process if you want to improve your performance.

Character Traits and Personal Qualities That Help a PM Be a Project Expert 

Sociability / Extraversion

As we could understand based on the analysis of key responsibilities, a project manager is an expert whose main duty is to be in touch with a great number of people with different social backgrounds, different tempers and personality traits, and under absolutely diverse circumstances. Extraverts not only easily build rapport with others but also enjoy the process, which is why this type of people easily perform such a kind of duties. Sociability will be useful at the initiation, execution, and planning stages, where communication comes to the foreground. Therefore, a sociable and open person will perform his or her duties in a much easier way and more effectively than an antisocial individual. But if you’re an introvert, it doesn’t mean you have no chances in project management. In some cases, extraversion can be gained, according to some experts.

Optimism and Enthusiasm

A project manager is a leader, the one who manages not only the projects themselves but people working for these projects. Thus, to make people follow you, one should not only possess leadership skills but first of all be an optimistic person who is always searching for ways to reach their goals, who is not afraid of challenges and is ready to overcome barriers. A PM as a leader should be enthusiastic and be a backbone for the team members who need it. An optimistic person sees opportunities in a sticky situation, where everyone else gives up. This is especially significant because almost any project faces a lot of challenges and difficulties. This quality is a must at all project stages: starting from initiation, up to its completion.  

Stress Resistance 

As noted above, during discussions with clients, stakeholders, and team members, a lot of issues causing disputes often arise. It’s one of the project manager’s duties to resolve the problems and find the best solution to make everyone satisfied with the process and the final result. So, it’s obvious that a PM should be stress-resistant and unbiased to make the best decision possible to make things work for everyone engaged. Besides, in terms of uncertainty, when project deadlines are vulnerable to different circumstances and changes, a project manager should be ready to meet arising challenges and resolve the problem to save the project. 

Read more: Fighting Uncertainty in Project Management: Arm Yourself with the Right Tool.

Therefore, stress-resistance is necessary for every project delivery stage. 


This quality is necessary for a project manager in the situations described above. Still, the difference between stress resistance and self-control is that the latter is, according to psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Prudy Gourguechon, the ability to think before acting. This quality is vital for project leaders as mistakes often appear if emotions overwhelm in the situations of decision-making. Besides, a project manager, as a person who communicates with clients and stakeholders, should be cold-blooded and act based on the project’s interests but not be guided by emotions and feelings. Besides, when things go sideways, a project manager needs self-control to examine the situation properly and make decisions after a profound analysis only. In such a way, this quality is also a must at every project life cycle stage.


A project manager must make essential project decisions that are paramount for project delivery, which is why being self-confident is a must. When you work in a stressful environment, where everything depends on your actions, being sure of your competency and the lack of hesitation before taking corresponding actions is a great plus for a leader. A leader can’t be effective if they lack self-confidence. That’s why this quality is vital for a project manager regardless of the project delivery stage.


Without empathy, any project will fail, because it is one of the prerequisites of efficient communication. A project manager is a person who not only guides the project but also coordinates people, and he or she is responsible for their success or failure. Empathy is a quality that helps a person understand and predict other people’s reactions to his or her actions, words, or independent circumstances. Since a PM works with a great number of people and has to administer their activities, empathy is a must-have property that makes up a good leader, the one people trust and follow. Besides, it’s also about fair judgments and objectivity in decisions where others are involved. So, empathy is especially important at the project initiation, execution, and closure stages. 


When working with people, you have to be tolerant. Otherwise, you can’t be a good leader. According to, tolerance is a fair, objective, and permissive attitude towards opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one’s own. Besides, tolerance concerns not only other people but also their actions. People fail from time to time, and one of the essential qualities of a good PM is to be tolerant of one’s own and other’s mistakes and failures. Innovation and progress are just impossible if a person is afraid of making a mistake. According to Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes, a good leader should be failure-tolerant. It means that such managers not only avoid punishment if an employee fails but also encourage failures because the fear of failure prevents taking risks, which in turn blocks any opportunity of progress.

Mindfulness and Sense of Responsibility

A mindful project leader is a person who is engaged and focused. They’re concentrated on project issues and fully aware of their responsibility for successful project delivery. This quality is closely associated with consciousness and a sense of responsibility. They are the core of the efficient work of any leader such as a project manager. The other above-mentioned qualities will hardly help you in your management efforts if you aren’t focused and engaged in the process of managing your projects. Therefore, a PM needs this quality for managing projects throughout all their life cycles. 


Therefore, the unity of the following qualities will help you be a great project manager:

  • Be sociable; extraverts are easy to get along with, and they easily find common ground with anyone.
  • Be an enthusiast with a positive attitude, otherwise, any challenge will be a burden for you, and you won’t be followed.
  • Control yourself and be resistant to criticism and stress as you deal with people who may not share your opinion and may not be always right.
  • Be empathic as you have the whole team to coordinate. To be a trustworthy and fair-minded leader who is followed you should be empathic to your people.
  • Be tolerant of other people’s beliefs, opinions, and failures. Otherwise, you won’t even have a real team.
  • Stay as much focused on your projects as possible, even if there are lots of them. And if multi-project management seems too difficult for you, Epicflow is an excellent way to make it easier and more effective.