Posted on November 14, 2014 · Posted in Communication, Leadership, Management

There are many attributes project managers are expected to possess but none as critical as the ability to communicate to all stakeholders. Leaders’ inability to effectively communicate is known to break the tightest teams and derail the most promising projects.

If project managers intend to bring their tasks to successful fruition, they need to pay attention not only to being good speakers but in being great communicators as well.

While talking and communicating can both be associated with oral sounds, the fact of the matter is they cannot be construed to mean the same. One can talk incessantly without communicating. Talking can be done every which way without getting a clear message through. If there is anything that differentiates communicating from simply talking, it is the former’s capacity to effectively deliver messages.

One desirable effect of effective communication in project management is gaining the corresponding reaction from those who are directly or indirectly involved in the completion of a task.

So why should project managers aim to be great communicators? Here are three reasons:

Good communication eliminates guesswork 

How many times in the past have you received instructions that left you more baffled than clarified? How did you feel? How did it affect the overall result of a project or activity you were supporting?

When instructions are unclear, people are likely to mess up a task. At best, they’ll deliver a mediocre outcome. More often than not, the confusion stems from the failure of managers to effectively deliver their message across.

Not all associates readily admit they don’t understand. When not given the chance or prodded to ask clarifying questions, many would rather guess – to the detriment of the team. Project managers, therefore, must follow through and ensure members clearly understand what is expected of them.

Good communication forms stronger work relationships 

Behind every successful venture is a united team bound by good communication. Communication is not merely verbal language. Voice tone and body language count a lot, and listeners and followers will always look for cues to determine unspoken messages.

Physical presence and moral support are likewise forms of communication. The absence of such can affect team spirit, as good communication, especially in terms of forging healthy and fruitful work relationships, is critical.

Project managers must also leave their doors open for communication at every level at all times. This involves listening, a lot of it, and requires a more personal touch, like sending individual emails, videoconferencing, or even simple face-to-face talks. The name of the game is engaging team members to bring out the best in them.

Good communication sets the proper tone to achieve goals 

To meet goals on a team and individual basis, being clear about the project’s objectives and the actions to achieve them sets the tone to making things happen, and managers must make sure that messages that matter reach their intended recipients.

Providing timely information about the project’s progress is likewise important so team members know if they’re performing as expected, making it easier to do damage control when necessary and still possible.

Project management consists of a whole range of tasks and responsibilities, but for team members to perform accordingly, making sure they get pertinent messages clearly should be a project manager’s priority.

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