10 steps to successful management communication

By | October 10, 2011

Successful communication is a vital skill in today’s workplace. Whether it’s being able to quickly and clearly communicate by email or present without nerves to large groups of people. Being able to communicate well will enhance every aspect of your project management career; people will understand you and respond more positively to you, you will encounter less resistance and frustration with your ideas, and being able to express yourself clearly will change the way you are seen.

If you’re a project manager who has already achieved your PRINCE2 qualifications, you’ll know that project communication is important, particularly when dealing with senior stakeholders. We’ve put together the ten top tips that will transform you communication skills and move you closer to project success.

1. Polish your presentation skills

Standing up and presenting to a group of senior stakeholders can be nerve-wracking, so make sure you’ve developed the skills in advance that will give you the confidence you need.

2. Be clear and concise by email

While often it’s quicker to communicate by phone, sometimes you need to get things in writing. Make sure your emails are quick to read, easy to follow, and only copy in the people who really need to be involved.

3. Develop your writing skills

Whether it’s putting together a project business case, or completing project documentation, it’ll be much quicker and easier if you’re confident that your writing style is clear and businesslike.

4. Remember that time is limited

It’s often the case that project stakeholders from a management team will be involved with several projects, as well as their day-to-day responsibilities. It’s safe to assume that they may not have the time available to read the full project documentation, so make sure you’re able to provide a quick to understand summary.

5. Understand your project but don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer

If you know your project inside out then you’ll be able to quickly answer any questions you’re asked – but beware of bluffing. If you don’t know, then be clear that you will go away and find out the answer.

6. Don’t use too much jargon

Of course you should use project terminology where appropriate, but remember that your audience may not be project managers so steer clear of jargon.

7. Learn to listen

You can find out more by listening effectively, and it makes sure you ask the right questions.

8. Don’t forget about non-verbal communication

If you’re saying you’re open to new ideas, then your body language also needs to suggest this – unfold your arms and don’t hunch your shoulders.

9. Prepare for challenging situations

If a conversation doesn’t go to plan, make sure you’ve got the tactics you need to turn things around. Plan for the worst.

10. Learn how to give effective feedback

Make sure you’re supporting your team effectively, both during and after the project. Delivering constructive feedback, in the right way at the right time, will improve both individual and team performance.

These are just a starting point, so make sure you and your team can access effective training to build your skills in these areas. Developing your management communication will be a valuable addition to your project management and PRINCE2 qualifications.

Note from editor: This was a guest post.