5 Communicate in the most appropriate manner

Management by walking around is a good thing, and much human communication is non-verbal. We don't need expensive courses to teach us this, it's a matter of common experience. E-mail may well have been one of the greatest management tools ever invented for virtual teams in diverse locations, but it's also one of the worst for the way in which it interrupts normal human interactions. If, with a little effort, you can communicate face to face, do so. Time spent talking directly to people when things are going well will pay dividends when they are not.

Talking, however, isn't always the best way to get your message across. Newsletters, team notices, minutes of meetings, written briefs and reports all have their place. An experienced project manager has used them all and knows what works best in different situations and, more importantly, what doesn't. Sacking a team member by SMS text message will not build trust between you and the rest of your team. Communication is the project manager's most important skill. The key to good communication is consideration of the needs of the recipient. The CEO is always short of time and is likely to be well educated. A brief to the CEO can use a wide variety of language for maximum impact in a concise manner. Conversely, consider swearing. The use of coarse language is often said to be a sign of a poor vocabulary. However, there is little point using your masters' level vocabulary if your audience's normal conversational style is to have an expletive for every third word. Know your audience and adapt your style for them. This does not mean swearing every third word if they do, but it does mean simplifying your language and using examples to illustrate your message that will be familiar to them.

Tip

Think through how you communicate with every last member of your team and all the stakeholders connected with your project. Be realistic: don't take the easy option. Understand the recipient's ability to receive your message.


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Definitive Guide to Project Management. The Fast Track to Getting the Job Done on Time and on Budget
The Definitive Guide to Project Management: The fast track to getting the job done on time and on budget (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 0273710974
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 217
Authors: Sebastian Nokes
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