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You don’t have to be a ‘Good Communicator’ to be Good at Communication

What does “good” communication mean anyway? Is communication all about gossip around the water cooler, about small talk and business luncheons and extroverted exchanges in the office corridor? Ann Pilkington, writing for the Association for Project Management, wonders whether or not project managers sidestep communication because they perceive it as annoying, or as an obstruction to productivity.

Communication is Illumination

Pilkington, who has published a book on the subject of internal communication, suggests framing the matter differently:

For me, communication in a project context is a planned activity with the aim of helping the project to hit its milestones and deliver its benefits. Often it seems communication is only discussed in terms of interpersonal communication or leadership communication. Discussion around these forms of communication can also sometimes seem a bit too conceptual and frankly intimidating. They matter of course, but I would argue if the focus is just on these we are missing the bigger picture and project managers may withdraw from communicating completely because it all just seems a bit too difficult.

Planning your interactions with others is not as awkward as it sounds, and can actually take a lot of the frustration out of the process of communicating. What one often needs is simply a desired objective that produces a tangible outcome. It may come as a surprise, but many people don’t actually stop to think about what they want to get out of their interactions with others. They simply start talking.

The effective communication strategy involves at least two basic parts: one, you’ll need to identify the stakeholders to communicate with. Two, you’ll want to define who is going to participate in that exchange. (It may not actually be you if you’re managing others and delegating responsibilities.) It could be the project sponsor, a stakeholder, or perhaps the project manager. Now is the time to quit talking, and to start communicating.

Read the original article at: https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/you-don-t-have-be-good-communicator-be-good-communication

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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