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7 Signs You Are a Great Project Communicator

At this point, everyone has an idea of what poor communicators look like—they do not convey enough, they do not explain enough, etc. What does a really sterling communicator of a project manager look like though? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen describes seven things that these top communicators do:

  1. Provide regular and truthful updates about project progress
  2. Speak to your stakeholders in person about risk and issues
  3. Fully present and listen during conversations
  4. Adapt your approach to recipients’ communication style
  5. Write emails clearly and succinctly
  6. Manage your emotions when you communicate
  7. Clearly communicate the options and impact of a change

Understand and Be Understood

Great managers convey reliable, honest updates about their projects. That means no lies of omission, no prettying up worrying details, and no missed reporting. If a serious risk arises, stakeholders are going to hear about it quickly and even in person if possible, because it is the only way to properly manage it. Not every conversation is fit for email, especially where complexity and nuance are involved. Great communicators will use email mostly to convey concrete facts in a fast and orderly fashion.

On the other hand, another thing they will do is match their communication style to that of the person with whom they are speaking. So if stakeholders love to see everything recorded in email, then managers will be sure to communicate with them that way. Half of communication is just being receptive to the needs and attitudes of other parties.

Lastly, about communicating options and impacts of change, Madsen says this:

As an effective communicator you strive to provide your recipients with a number of options for resolving an issue as well as the impact of each option. Your stakeholders don’t want problems presented to them. They want solutions.

Presenting three options to an issue with a clear impact of each option can be a great way to approach such a conversation. … The ultimate test of how good a communicator you are is how people respond to you. If people regularly let you know that they find your messages clear and that they enjoy interacting and communicating with you then you are probably a good communicator.

For further thoughts, you can view the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/seven-signs-you-are-a-great-communicator-projectmanagement/

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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