When it comes to project management, you can’t go at it alone! One of the most important elements for the success of your project is C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N, as this is the key to any good and healthy relationship! Effective teamwork begins and ends with interaction, as this is the bridge between confusion and clarity.
However, communication includes also being there for everyone, understanding the unpredicted issues, keeping them actively informed and involved, being in touch and aware of the real challenges of the project. Being present, visible and engaged with everyone both at the good and at the challenging times! It is about speaking, listening and understanding the complete message! It is about the language you use, the right tone to convey the message, your body language. In other words, you’ve got to know how to talk to your people!
IT’S WATCH O’CLOCK!
Bad communication be like:
To avoid all this…mess, you need to be a servant to two masters: apply strong communication skills and use the right tools to drag all partners into the game!
- Talking about skills
We can keep talking for days! We can write whole books about this topic! We decided to just let you throw an eye on the basics, the alpha and omega of successful communication skills:
- Listen. Listen. Listen. And far it goes to eternity! Listen to your team, the good and the bad stuff, the easy and the hard. It is the only way to deeply understand issues, look for the exit and avoid dead ends!
- Choose efficiency over speed. Choose the straight path over unneeded circles! Make cautious steps instead of rushing around, even if this takes a bit longer! Be patient – remember Aesop’s “The Tortoise & the Hare” fable!
- Ask questions. Get your hands a little dirty and ask important questions: does everyone fully understand the project’s goal and objectives? Are they aware of the deadlines? Do they need any guidelines or assistance? Keep in mind that sometimes people get shy and are afraid to expose themselves by sharing their fears and difficulties!
- Show lots of respect! As previously said, it is all about relationships. Be kind and treat your team well, to receive their best in return!
- Keep everyone in the loop. Keep in mind that as the leading organization you constantly need to keep an eye on your partners and make sure they are aware of their tasks and the relevant deadlines. Tracking and monitoring your team’s work is as important as all other responsibilities you undertake!
- Talking about tools
Internal communication, namely communication with your partners, can be assisted by several tools which will definitely make your life much easier and will help you enjoy your partners’ full potential. The tools can be divided in two main categories which work perfectly together and can each offer you great results which are all necessary for your communication success. Pick a sneak!
- Direct communication: what can be more effective than meeting people, discussing face to face, getting to know each other better? Organize some preparatory meetings with the whole team (you and your partners), or if it is possible some more for the members of your different working groups to arrange their internal details. This will significantly help you in:
- distributing further tasks and monitoring the preparatory activities;
- resolving potential issues and reporting problems or other obstacles;
- arranging any other aspects of the preparation phase.
- Electronic communication: and here comes technology to make communication a piece of cake! The Internet offers a variety of options and useful project management tools. So, don’t forget to:
- define your communication channel – choose something not very complicated, that all partners feel comfortable using.
- pick a document sharing platform – this way all relevant documents will be gathered in one place and all partners will have easy access.
- use emails – “scripta manent”, so save yourself from misunderstandings and “memory voids”! teleconferences – no, this is not only for the elderly! Remember to keep minutes and share them!