6 Must-Have Writing Skills Every Project Manager Needs

These days, being a project manager is a completely different animal, isn’t it? Although tech-savvy and writing skills are required, they take time to implement with finesse. However, all six of these writing skills will help project managers produce better results for their clients and make tons of lucrative professional connections. Related: How To Manage Without Being Mean (Is It Possible To Not Be Pushy?) As you’ll see, these six writing skills pretty much cover the entire gambit, without actually sounding like an English or copywriting course. I'm going to stress this a few times: it’s about all personal relationships. Reaching your contractors and talking to them on their level increases the value of their work, their responses to criticism and deadlines, and it helps increase retention. Alright, let’s get to it.


1. The Ability To Cleanse Muddy Waters

When there are five tiers of contractors, all with different skill-sets, in three different time zones who all need to consistently know what’s going on, things can get mucked up something fierce! And in a hurry, too. Being able to break things down into bite-size bits is an especially welcomed talent. Project managers need to be able to speak to web designers about design, copywriters about the copy, and business owners about the progress… all in terms and using language these people relate to.

2. The Ability To Stay Cool & On-Point

When crunch time approaches, or things are on the verge of falling apart, it takes talent to write tension-easing e-mails. Keeping in touch via social media networks is completely acceptable these days in most startups, and SMBs (small to medium-sized companies like Essay Tigers). Use it liberally. Why? Because it’s typically informal and you can socialize while talking business. Always stay on point in a way that doesn’t feel stoogey. Don’t be a stickler. Stay cool, use lots of humorous wit and help contractors stay focused on the end-game.

3. The Ability To Not Come Across As A Nag

Some people require more hand-holding and encouragement than others. Maybe the graphic artist is being flaky. Maybe the brand designer hasn’t responded to e-mails in a couple days. Whatever the case is, project managers need to have the gift of gab which allows them to touch base often without coming across as a nag.

4. The Ability To Showcase The Vision, Not The Process

Being able to lift contractors above their own specific roles to see the bigger picture, or the vision, is a valuable trait. Always keep things upbeat by stating the good news first and focus on what’s working. Don’t be a downer. Don’t try and sell the fear of failure. Instead, seek to inspire, motivate, and enthuse people by showcasing the dream. What’s in it for the minions?

5. The Ability To Increase Retention Through Personable Writing

Retention is a big deal, even in the virtual realm of freelance contracting and team management. It takes time and man hours for recruiters to find and then screen/interview the right people for the job. The cooler the project manager, the lower the turnover rate’s going to be. Everything is contractual now. Part of what it takes to get that amazing copywriter to stick around is the project manager’s ability to establish a relationship through positive feedback, clear and concise instructions, and easy to read messaging.

6. The Ability To Speak The Language Of Ideal Contractors

This is part and parcel to all the other skills we’ve mentioned. Being intense and formal just doesn’t work for the millennials or the freelancers. At least not the vast majority of them. They now have the liberty of working for who they want, when they want and however they want as long as the results are there. As long as they fulfill their contracts. Set a good conversational tone with contractors. Don’t get straight to business. Think of it as a dinner meeting. First you sit and chit chat for a few minutes, order some drinks, chit chat some more and then maybe before the meal start talking business. Then you’ve got to get everything across quickly and using semantics they respond to. Remember, it’s about personal relationships.

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