Is Communication a Superpower for a Project Manager?
– what does communication mean? Is it simply the transferring of information? Obviously no! A Big No! Transferring the information does not solve the purpose of communication. Suppose you have drafted an e-mail to your customer and after sending that drafted e-mail you are thinking that your communication with the customer is done with.
Just imagine – If your customer does not reply to your email – what will be the scenario then? Who is responsible for this debacle? Why is the customer not replying? Who is the poor communicator here? Is your customer responsible for that? No, as a project manager, you should take the sole responsibility for this communication problem. You should check the e-mail again and again. Check whether you have maintained proper language that the customer can easily understand .
Also you should check – whether you have asked the customer to acknowledge that e-mail upon complete understanding. If not, then don’t expect any reply e-mail from the customer. These seemingly small issues have the capacity to make the life of project manager hell. Simply hell! Get rid of that! I can guarantee that if you are a true and a sound communicator, then you no need to worry about the outcome of the project. Obviously, you will be truly successful as a project manager for any project, if you are a good communicator. Let me explain to you some features of good communication:
Pronunciation Should be Very Clear:
Pronunciation should be understandable. Isn’t it? It can solve half of your problems in regard to communication. If you are saying something to someone, it should be very clear and comprehensible to that particular person. Generally, this is true for face to face communication. You can make the best use of this in project kick-off meeting. Try to pronounce the words clearly and correctly. Incorrect pronunciation may often take the message off the correct track. Avoid that!
Be Brief and Use Easy Language:
Always try to use easy language while discussing something on the project report or even while writing notes; you should use the easy language. Don’t describe unnecessarily if it is not required. I have seen project managers spending unnecessarily amount of time while discussing and writing small pieces of information. What is the use of spending so much valuable time if the purpose can be solved in less time with smaller notes? Don’t spoil your time, be brief and use very understandable language. If you are saying or writing a line and if that can solve your purpose – leave it with one line, no need to decorate the same further, unnecessarily. Your communication is over, if everyone understands the requirement with that single line.
Develop Good Listening Skills:
Maintain coolness on the floor. It is very important for a project manager not to react to every action. It is not good simply. A project manager is not supposed to react to everything. Control yourself. Try to listen very carefully – what the other party wants to communicate. Just wait for your turn to reply. Don’t jump mid way into the discussion. You will be getting enough time for your remarks. Wait for that. First, you should listen carefully and then reply in brief by using very neat and understandable language so that the other party can understand what you want to say. Don’t jeopardize things unnecessarily. Try it and I am sure you will realize an improvement in your communication skills.
Make Proper Eye Contact:
Again, this is a very important factor. Whether you are listening or talking, looking into the eyes of the person with whom you are conversing could make the discussion more successful and meaningful. Eye contact conveys interest and encourages the other party to remain interested in your discussion.
PMI (Project Management Institute) also recommends that 90% of the project manager’s work belongs to communication knowledge area. It is very obvious when you are managing a large project with the team being geographically located diversely. The above mentioned techniques could be very useful while managing the communication.
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