Quick Hits: Yassine Hounsali, PMP

Headshot of Yassine Hounsali

On the power of communication, positive reinforcement and emotional intelligence. 

Yassine Hounsali, PMP
Location: Tangier, Morocco
Title: Project manager
Organization: Sogefi Group
Industry: Mobility

What three adjectives best describe you?
Passionate, organized and goal-oriented. I like doing meaningful things in my life, planning for them carefully and reaching objectives driven by a purpose.  

What’s the one must-have skill for project leaders right now? 
Effective communication because project leaders are constantly communicating. For instance, we need to convert project data into business information that is actionable for project sponsors and key stakeholders. Communicating with them is the most effective way to get their support, which is crucial for any project success.  

Why does the world need project leaders? 
Coordinating across large groups and dealing with complex business processes cannot be accomplished without a project leader.  

What’s the best project management advice you’ve received? 
Learn to shift seamlessly between the big picture and the small-but-crucial details, knowing when to concentrate on each. Developing this agile mindset helped me become a visionary leader, efficiently changing roles and managing the tiniest of loopholes that are missed by other team members. 

How do you use project management skills in everyday life?
From planning my weekly activities to executing my daily planned meals, these skills have changed my life to a well-organized one. For example, I split my objectives into tasks, create schedules for each task and continuously follow up on them to get things done.  

What’s your project management mantra? 
I have three: 

  1. It’s okay to move on.
  2. I choose positivity today.
  3. Energy share. 

I use each with my team during tough situations to reduce stress. Using positive mantras keeps everyone calm.  

How else do you relieve stress? 
Exercise and a healthy diet. Physical activity produces endorphins that improve my ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. A balanced diet supports a healthy immune system and repairs damaged cells. It provides the extra energy needed to cope with stressful events. 

What’s the secret for effective communication?
Effective communication is all about understanding and respecting the other person's point of view. Be clear, concise and honest—no matter how difficult that might be.  

How has the pandemic affected your work habits? 
I discovered that I don’t have to be in an office to get things done. I had to reinvent myself to stay relevant and have the same contributions as if I were in the office. For example, I proposed the use of webcams in all conference calls with both internal and external stakeholders. All the team members appreciated this—and it allowed the communication to remain smooth and efficient. 

What book are you recommending these days?
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, especially for people interested in leadership. He delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work and even our physical well-being. 

What famous or historic person would you want on a project team? 
Steve Jobs. I like people who can foresee the future and are always looking at the bigger picture. They often encourage teams to take calculated risks and are also regarded as being honest, outspoken, principled, ethical and adventurous. 

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