Communication is important to everything in your life, including your business interactions. Being effective in your communication also means your are more effective in managing your projects. The majority of time spent by a project managers is spent communicating to their project team. Effective communication is directly linked to project success, which also means that ineffective communication is directly linked to project failure.
What can you do to encourage better team communication?
- Clear Communication – As a member of a project team, you have to accept that clear communication is the key ingredient for your project to be successful. That includes being transparent and open about all your communication with the team, and those people who need updates on the status of your projects..
- Training – Don’t be afraid to ask for training to improve the communication of your team. That might mean formal classes on public speaking or ways to improve your written communication. This might also include systems for communication like document templates, posters, printed checklists, etc. and making sure everyone knows how to use those new documents. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when it comes to improving team communication.
- Communication Framework – Establish a framework that states who will communicate to whom for each and every update on specific events as your project moves from task to task and from milestone to milestone. Establishing the “who, what, when, where, how” in the beginning can help reduce confusion later. This will also help reduce confusion when potentially confusing messages are transmitted by separate members for your team.
- Honesty – Encourage honest and open communication by never punishing the messenger. When things go wrong, you want to know as soon as possible, and you want your project team comfortable in coming to you to alert you of an issue without hesitation or worry about an adverse reaction or threat of repercussions.
- Listen – Ask your team questions and listen to what they say and how they say it, because listening is the best way to hear about concerns an risks to your project. You team needs to believe you are listening to them when they are voicing their concerns and that you understand their issues and want to help them improve their processes.