Project Leadership Skills


Learn critical skills in the areas of leadership, communication, negotiation and motivation, and be able to develop the ability to apply these in practice



Leadership skills are part of everyday experience, and yet can be developed, enhanced and perfected through experience.  This course aims to accelerate understanding and support the resolution with which people develop their own leadership capabilities in different circumstances.  



Since this course presents leadership skills for managing upwards as well as towards the team, across organizations and outside the organization, it is appropriate for project participants who must exercise persuasive, coordination and leadership skills at many different levels.



  • Enhance understanding of leadership skills, delegation and the nature of motivation
  • Learn approaches for managing conflicts, resolving problems, negotiating and making the most of differences
  • Understand and apply communication skills and increase awareness of blocks to communication



The instructor has experience in project leadership in many industrial sectors where change and innovation have been key factors, and has been a consultant, facilitator, and project manager, manager of methods and quality, and trainer in large and small organisations. 



Develop a personal vision of leadership

Engage and energize the start of the course by creating a personal leadership vision

Use inspiration from quotes on leadership and coloured cards to create a personal motto

Attributes of leaders

Develop understanding about the attributes of leaders 

Explore the differences between leadership and management

Reflect about how leadership competencies can be learned and developed

Leadership personal assessment

Using a leadership assessment instrument participants reflect about their own leadership strengths and weaknesses and resolve to focus on their own development

Leadership effectiveness workshop

Build a ‘Leadership Effectiveness Profile’ (emotional intelligence, contextual thinking, directional clarity, creative assimilation, change orchestration, people enablement, reciprocal communication, driving persistence)

Develop the phases of i) Understanding the team, assessing the situation and agreeing on ground rules, ii) Providing directional clarity, setting tangible goals and targets (managing up, as well as down), iii) Learning how to lead by example and take measured risks (decision making), iv) Appraising team performance, recognising success, inviting feedback and adjusting style.

Situational leadership and team-building

Discover the full dimensions of the Tuckman team-building model, its relevance for situational leadership, managing the project life-cycle and change management.

Expand upon the importance of leadership and management style during the project life cycle, recognizing at each step what needs to be done to manage the project and transitions effectively.   

Attributes of high performing teams

Examine the TEAMWORK acronym (Shared Targets, Energy, Equilibrium, Engagement, Empowerment, Attitude, Accountability, Attitude, Appropriation, Mutual Support, Working Tools, Organisation fit to purpose, Recognition, Respect, Rewards, Results, Knowledge). 
Highlight the specific challenges of virtual teams and develop ideas adapted for distance working, cross-functional and international teams.

Personal Styles

Work in a team on a creative and active team activity involving communication, brainstorming, problem solving, conflict negotiation and decision making.  Use a teamwork instrument to assess individual preferred team working preferences.

Conflict management  

  Use a conflict mode instrument to identify preferred responses to conflicts and when they are appropriate leading to a team-play to develop the theme of cooperative negotiation.

Build upon the theory of conflict management with emphasis upon relational conflicts, conflicts of interest and technical conflicts in order to apply a framework for creative conflict resolution:

     i.Relational conflicts draw upon a respect for differences and a willingness to build a mindset, a wavelength and a climate that enables understanding.

    ii.Conflicts of interest requir negotiating skills, to weigh up the factors and to achieve an appropriate outcome, including the ability to pursue a win-win negotiating strategy.

  iii.Technical conflicts demand a problem solving approach with the availability of subject matter experts and an objective analysis and selection of options.  

Critical Thinking and Self-Awareness

Critical thinking is an emerging area of cognition that has become particularly relevant recently.    Some of the pertinent phenomenon introduced in an engaging and informative fashion:

Groupthink –  the group ends up where no-one wants to be

Distraction – failing to see the obvious, because focusing elsewhere

Illusion – differences of perception and insight into ambiguity

Forcing – channelled into choices amongst restricted options

Wishful Thinking – overvaluing our own experience, or what we desire

Pain Distortion – avoiding the challenge of the unknown

Selective memory – wiping out memories that conflict with our beliefs

Dialectic fallacies – (Straw man, slippery slope, circular arguments, ad-hominem, non sequitur, ad populum, ad verecundium, ad baculum, dubious evidence) are all deceptions that mislead

Governance Standards, Values and Ethics and Crisis Management

Understand how corporations must establish governance standards and limits that will shield the organisation from the challenges that occur more often than organisations ever expect

Know how to build a clear set of principles and execute the first steps in crisis management in order to reassure stakeholders and head off disorientation and distrust. 

Conclusions on the Theory and Arts of Communication

Consolidate the theory of communication - e.g. sender receiver model, the importance and limits of listening, the need for feedback, awareness of context and perspective, all round communication, the necessity for persistence, the need to overcome misinterpretations and misunderstanding that arise due to filtering and questions of cognition and perception.

Practice communication in role plays and exercises on listening and comprehension

Intercultural Communication

Extend the definition of intercultural beyond the geographical dimension of national and regional differences, to encompass the semantic gap and differences between disciplines
Make use of some basic theories of intercultural attributes, their provenance, and their significance; participants read, discuss, exchange and report back on some typical cultural differences, and how to manage them to work effectively across boundaries. 


Learning Method

The course uses active learning, participation through discussion and debate, self-evaluation questionnaires, role-plays and feedback, as well as team activities and games



3 or 4 days, either consecutive, or 2 + 1, 2 + 2, or 3 + 1


Benefits of the course

  • The potential to acquire and to develop the understanding of leadership skills
  • Pre-conceptions explored and challenged, new awareness and insights developed
  • An opportunity to share experiences, to exchange ideas and to put ideas into practice
  • A low-risk learning environment in preparation for good resolutions that make a difference : Ian Stokes, Project Leader and Advisor

sitemap xml