- Communication has been identified as one of the single biggest reasons for project success or failure.
- Effective communication within the project team and between the project manager, team members, and all external stakeholders is essential.
- Openness in communication is a gateway to teamwork and high performance.
- It improves relationships among project team members and creates mutual trust.
- To communicate effectively, the project manager should be aware of the communication styles of other parties, cultural issues, relationships, personalities, and overall context of the situation.
- Awareness of these factors leads to mutual understanding and thus to effective communication.
- Project managers should identify various communication channels, understand what information they need to provide, what information they need to receive, and which interpersonal skills will help them communicate effectively with various project stakeholders. Carrying out team-building activities to determine team member communications styles (e.g.directive, collaborative, logical, explorer, etc), allows managers to plan their communications with appropriate sensitivity to relationships and cultural differences.
- Listening is an important part of communication.
- Listening techniques, both active and effective give the user insight to problem areas, negotiation and conflict management strategies, decision making, and problem resolution
The communication activities involved in these processes may often have many potential dimensions that need to be considered, including, but not limited to:
• Internal (within the project) and external (customer, vendors, other projects, organizations, the public);
• Formal (reports, minutes, briefings) and informal (emails, memos, ad-hoc discussions);
• Vertical (up and down the organization) and horizontal (with peers);
• Official (newsletters, annual report) and unofficial (off the record communications); and
• Written and oral, and verbal (voice inflections) and nonverbal (body language).
Most communication skills are common for both general management and project management, such as, but not limited to:
• Listening actively and effectively;
• Questioning and probing ideas and situations to ensure better understanding;
• Educating to increase team’s knowledge so that they can be more effective;
• Fact-finding to identify or confirm information;
• Setting and managing expectations;
• Persuading a person, a team, or an organization to perform an action;
• Motivating to provide encouragement or reassurance;
• Coaching to improve performance and achieve desired results;
• Negotiating to achieve mutually acceptable agreements between parties;
• Resolving conflict to prevent disruptive impacts; and
• Summarizing, recapping, and identifying the next steps.
Successfully performing the project requires the following:
- ✓ Information: Accurate, timely, and complete data for the planning, performance monitoring, and final assessment of the project
- ✓ Communication: Clear, open, and timely sharing of information with appropriate individuals and groups throughout the project’s duration
- ✓ Commitment: Team members’ personal promises to produce the agreed-upon results on time and within budget
Key Communication Principles Principle :
- Accountable communication inspires positive action in others. Long after people forget what you said, they remember how you made them feel.
- Provide positive direction , You: “The reason I wanted to meet is to make sure we are both heading in the same direction.”
- State your concern, You: “Your recent report raised some questions for me. I’d like to go over several specific points.”
- Take accountability ,You: “That’s my intention. I want to make sure I’m clear about what is needed from you.”
Your Communication Is Accountable When:
- People are inspired. They go into action to make things happen.
- People re-create your message for others. They use their own words to restate what you want and when you want it.
- People know what is important. They are clear about your priorities and what needs to happen first.
- People are emotionally and intellectually engaged. Your message has tapped both their hearts and minds
Inspires positive action in others
“That’s the problem in a nutshell.” add, Now it’s up to us to turn this around.”
“This is an issue we must address quickly.” Add: “I’m confident we can do this.”
“We will meet on Friday at 8 a.m. in the conference room.” Add: “Let’s use this time to generate new ideas together.”
• “I haven’t had a chance to read your report.” Add: “I always appreciate how you look at things.”
• “We are facing a number of challenges this next year.” Add: “I’m happy to be on a great team.
We’ll need everyone’s thinking and energy.” • “Good morning. ” Add: “It’s always good to see you.”
• “Here’s the document. Read it and let’s talk.” Add: “I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.”