Advanced Communication Tips For Project Managers

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We’ve already established that communication is a necessity for project management. Leaders have to stay in touch with contributors, upper-level executives and stakeholders to ensure that than an initiative is on track and meets certain specifications. Additionally, Christopher Scordo provided some helpful tips in an article for us so supervisors could improve their basic communication skills.
Project managers can’t rest on their laurels, however. These professionals need to continually strive toward new objectives and improve their performance with each assignment.
Facilitating communication with employees and clients is an important task that every leader has to handle on an everyday basis. Below are some advanced tips that will help project managers deal this intricate and delicate responsibility.
The trouble with millennials
As millennials continue to join the workforce, many project teams are becoming younger. This can be beneficial as these workers are usually strong innovators and can help a company develop new solutions to old problems.
The problem with these employees is that don’t communicate through traditional means. Where more established professionals would rather speak face to face with a colleague or call a client on the phone, millennials prefer online chat systems and email. Anita Hofschneider of The Wall Street Journal reports that this is something of a growing issue in the modern workplace.
Project managers need to nip this issue in the bud as soon as humanly possible. Leaders should emphasize the importance of direct interaction to their young contributors to ensure that everyone is finding information in a timely fashion instead of waiting on emails.
Millennials have to learn the importance of communication and how to discern when they should call or email someone. For the latter, young professionals need to be taught how to handle emergencies and why they need to talk to someone immediately. This is an important skill that will help these employees become strong contributors down the road.
Project managers can still allow millennials to use chat applications and email for basic communication. For instance, if someone needs a status update on an assignment, a quick message will likely suffice.
Explain, don’t just instruct
Some managers prefer to develop their own strategies and then pass information to the rest of the team. This approach can be beneficial for straightforward projects, but isn’t effective for complicated matters.
In an article for the Houston Chronicle, Freddie Silver recently wrote that project managers should explain their decision-making process so that others understand why certain instructions were given and the nature of the overall plan.
Employees and clients want to know how production is progressing and why it’s been structured in a certain way. Managers need to carefully detail why they think their plans are the most efficient and will lead to long-term success.
Supervisors who just tell people what to do likely won’t have strong relationships as workers will feel like they’re constantly being kept in the dark.
What’s more, that approach prevents staff members from offering their own suggestions that could streamline the project. Silver explains that project managers should be open to new ideas from their team members but only implement those that would actually yield positive results.
Always ask questions
If communication is lacking within a staff, there are a number of ways project managers can motivate members to start speaking. One of the most effective strategies is to ask questions and regularly challenge contributors to think about new strategies.
These shouldn’t be basic yes-or-no questions that workers can answer in a matter of seconds. Instead, managers should pose open-ended queries that force employees to develop new strategies and reflect on how they actually feel about a situation.
It’s best to ask these questions at the end of team meetings to ensure that everyone will actually mull them over and give them in-depth consideration. During the next conference, managers should open the floor and allow contributors to discuss their answers and thoughts to see how everyone’s thinking and whether there are any ideas worth implementing moving forward.
Asking questions can also be a beneficial approach to helping employees grow and uncover solutions to their own problems. Managers can challenge workers to think about how they’d like to see situations resolved rather than receiving help from a director supervisor.


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