Likability Matters More

I was debriefing with a client recently to understand their thought process for choosing a Project Manager to lead one of their strategic initiatives, and my takeaway was a reminder that "People do business with people they like". The consultant we presented for the role was imminently qualified. She has managed over two dozen implementations like the one our client was looking to have managed. Our consultant has all of the skills and competence to enable our client to address the time sensitive implementation. During the client interview, our consultant identified risk areas and missing artifacts in the current project and how she could get the project back on track, which emphasized her skills and abilities to do the role. In my debrief, the hiring manager acknowledged that our consultant had better skills and had more experience than the consultant that they ultimately chose, but they felt that the other candidate had a “can do” attitude and focused on how to achieve success. Relying on your skills will only get you so far. Culture and likability are key to closing your next opportunity.

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