Interpersonal Skills for Project Managers

Project management is all about getting work done through others. This means that the importance of interpersonal skills for a PM cannot be underestimated. In this workshop, students will use tools rooted in the 5th-Edition PMBOK® Guide and from the realms of communications, conflict management and negotiation to improve these skills. Although PMBOK® Guide-based, in fact drawing mainly from the Knowledge Areas of Communications (Chapter 10) and Stakeholder Management (Chapter 13), this is not a PMP® Prep course. This is a tools-focused workshop that shares specific advice about improving interpersonal project skills, focused on communications, including stakeholder management, for more successful, engaging projects.

Since presenting to others is an example of an interpersonal skill, and one which project managers often need to apply (often with short notice), the course also provides a chance for students to learn about and possibly hone their presentation skills.

Classes consist of a combination of lecture, discussion, and active exercises where we’ll put the skills learned to the test immediately.


  1. The human dimensions of projects
  2. How a project team evolves and is released (Tuckman model)
  3. Importance of stakeholders
  4. Managing in various project environments (functional, matrix, projectized)
  5. PM as Leader – Manager – Facilitator - Mentor
  6. Team-building strategies
  7. The very related arts of motivation and negotiation
  8. Resolving conflict – and managing agreement
  9. Interpersonal communications tools
  10. Building and managing relationships with stakeholders
  11. Decision-making
  12. Presentation skills

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Understand the criticality of developing their skills in the area of interpersonal skills in project management.
  2. Gain significant new insight in the way that their project teams really are built and operate for the project’s duration.
  3. Develop skills in conflict management and negotiation.
  4. Work on presentation skills in a safe but critical environment.
  5. Test the skills in class with several scenario-based exercises that will be challenging, fun, and an opportunity for self-discovery.

When you complete this course, you will receive 15 educational contact hours (1.5 Continuing Education Units, or CEUs). This is a non-credit course. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis; no letter grades are awarded.

Instructor: Rich Maltzman

Rich Maltzman, PMP, is leader, learning and professional advancement at major telecom’s PMO, with over 35 years of engineering and project management experience, including a 2-year assignment leading a project deployment team in The Netherlands. He is the co-founder of EarthPM, LLC, and in that role is co-author of the books Green Project Management (winner of PMI’s 2011 Cleland Award for Literature), and Project Workflow Management, to be published in November, 2013. Rich was VP of Professional Development for PMI’s MassBay Chapter. He has presented on the intersection of PM and Sustainability in the US, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Malaysia.

Rich has a BSEE from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a MSIE from Purdue University, as well as certificates in International Business Management from an Indiana University/INSEAD partnership and from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Book Information

Interpersonal Skills for Portfolio, Program, and Project Managers – Ginger Levin, PMP, PgMP, Management Concepts 2010, with additional slides and graphics provided via special arrangement with the author. ISBN 978-1-56726-288-9