Project Management

Anchor Soft Skills to Principled Beliefs

PMI Chicagoland Chapter

George Freeman, PMP, is a seasoned IT project manager and leader who has worked in the software industry for nearly four decades, including over 25 years of project management. He has significant experience and expertise in enterprise information systems, data, and business architectures, and is an advocate for “business and technical architectural awareness” among all project team members. Mr. Freeman has international and remote team experience, and has a passion for meta-modeling, domain-driven design, and “all things architecture.”

As project professionals, we can highlight and speak to the value propositions of our project portfolio and the hard or technical skills we deployed to make the projects successful on a moment's notice. This strategically inherent capability is practiced and continually honed, as we recognize that our professional survival depends on it. However, when it comes to highlighting and speaking to our soft skills, many of us are likely to state generalities and then do our best to redirect the conversation to a more tangible topic.

To differentiate ourselves, we need to address our soft skills in precise and principled terms. Speaking to them in vague generalities will suggest that you understand “what this something is,” but are without words to describe its measure in your practice. So, although you have experience in a specific soft skill, you are inadvertently communicating that you are uncomfortable with it. This article presents an approach that will prevent this type of gap from occurring. The approach is called the strategy of “principled beliefs.”

The strategy of principled beliefs
When speaking to our skills in an interview format, we confidently state our accomplishments with the belief that we are standing out from the crowd. We then expect our audience to say, "give us a moment, as we write down these details for a later reflection of your extraordinary skillset.”…

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