The event started with a short introduction from Rick about TRG Talk – Project Management. The Talk is a monthly event that takes place on the first Thursday of every month. The purpose of the Talk is to equip the attendants as well as the future project managers with the much-needed knowledge in this field. Brian then took over and went straight to the main topic: “How to Ensure Effective Communication in Project Management.”
What is communication?
Brian divided all participants into 5 groups and asked each group to discuss, based on their experiences, the meaning of communication and what are the barriers that prevent them from communicating effectively.
After the discussion, it was concluded that the barriers to effective communication are: Language, Background, Culture, Distance, Emotions, Tone, and Body Language. These factors play important roles as well as pose as issues when communicating between people. As a manager and the head of the project, you must not ignore these elements.
How to communicate effectively
Who is the audience?
The first requirement in ensuring communication effectiveness is considering the needs of your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and anticipate what they need to understand, then only provide that knowledge.
You need to know who your audience is before starting a conversation. You can’t talk about business issues with your technical workers.
Effective listening for effective communication
Most of us use our ears to hear but to what extent do we actually listen? Can you tell the difference between Hearing and Listening?
It is not only about speaking and giving orders for project management but also about listening to the needs and requirements of the project stakeholders. By actively listening, a project manager can acquire needed information, identify and clarify issues, make the right decisions, and resolve conflicts.
Practising mindful listening can immensely contribute to stakeholder satisfaction and the project team receptiveness. Brian advised the participants to listen to the employers, the project managers, and let everyone in the team give their inputs to understand each other.
Identify the 5Ws (Why, What, When, Where, Who) and 1H (How)
- Who do you need to communicate? This is based on the communication formula and needs to be determined.
- What do you need to communicate? Do you need to deliver every piece of information to your team?
- When should it be communicated? The timeline the talking should take place. Keep in mind that the timeline should be also closely monitored.
- Where should it be communicated? If the team involves many people, then individual level and team level communications need to be resolved.
- Why is it essential to communicate, and to what level? Why is it not encouraged? Why is nothing changed yet?
- How does communication need to be done? Should it be conducted via e-mail, phone, or via presentation?
Body Language, Timing, and Tone are also essential to effective communication. Remember, before you start a project, you need to make a communication plan which encompasses these elements if you want to achieve success.
One of the participants shared her experience with a client, who never responded to her queries every time she tried to reach out to them.
All other participants came up with suggestions on how to resolve the issue: First of all, she needs to understand what is important to her clients, what is their top priorities because they all have their own busy schedule. They won’t call for a meeting unless it’s important enough to them. Or perhaps, the issue you got is essential to you, but to them, it’s not. Therefore, before starting any conversation, she needs to think of the reason that makes them want to reply back.
At the end of the discussion, Brian added his opinion: Escalate the issue to her manager before the matter gets worse. If it gets worse, it will be your fault for not raising the issue.
About TRG Talk
TRG Talk is a series of events co-organised by TRG International and PJ’s Coffee Vietnam in order to promote the latest trends in the IT industry and the HR world, as well as tips and trick in improving your project management skills.
About TRG Talk – Project Management
A good Project Manager must be able to identify problems and risks. He/ She also needs to know how to minimise these issues and is able to make the decision needed throughout the entirety of the project. Do you consider yourself a good project manager? Do you have the required skills and power to handle the situation and the people involved in your project?
TRG Talk – Project Management is a monthly meetup that allows project managers to discuss in detail what it takes to become great at what you’re doing. The event takes place every first Thursday of the month.