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Icons of people with speech bubbles. Vector illustration of a cI recently attended a presentation by consultant and business author Andy Crowe, who shared information from a survey he conducted. The survey results identified the core traits that differentiate top project managers from their peers.

Crowe shared data from 860 project managers who had completed a 360-degree assessment on eight dimensions.

I was surprised to learn that the Alphas—the top 2 percent of these managers as rated by stakeholders—believe communication to be the key deliverable until the product is in customers’ hands.

Communication Is Key

The Alphas emphasize the importance of understanding their audiences and the need to tailor their communication to be effective throughout the project cycle. One key trait required is self-awareness. The best project managers are aware of their natural behavioral tendencies and know when to flex their style.

As I was listening to Crowe speak, I thought of coaching conversations I’ve conducted with clients on…

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