As a project manager, you will spend most of your time communicating. Between talking to the client and the people actually working on the project, sometimes it will feel like all you’re doing is communicating. That means that you need to be very mindful of your communication styles, and the messages that you are portraying across the board. Being able to effectively communicate your thoughts, desires, and needs as a project manager will help to make every project run smoother, and make you more effective at your job. Let’s dive into a few key tips that you can use to make your communication even more effective than it already is:
In the age of technology, there will always be something available to distract us. Between emails, texts, calls, and the plethora of information available to us online, it’s a wonder that we get anything done at all. Couple technology with an office environment, and it’s a recipe for constant distractions. It’s important to make sure that you all of those possible distractions don’t get in the way of the conversations that you have. If you need to speak to anyone, whether it’s in person or over the phone, make sure you remove all distractions, and give them your full attention. Distraction-free conversation is not only polite, it allows you to hear exactly what is being said,and lessens the probability of miscommunication.
At first glance, this may feel like an exact duplicate of the above point. But it’s not; instead, I’m encouraging YOU to keep from being a distraction. Try to refrain from interrupting the person you are speaking to. Let the other party finish what they have to say, and listen to what they have to say. Interrupting someone while they’re talking relays to them that you think what they have to say is less important than what you have to say. That will cause immediate communication issues, as both parties are likely to shut down, and then nothing will be accomplished.
Don’t just wait for your turn to talk; practice active listening to fully absorb what is being said to you. Facial expressions are incredibly telling, so if you’re not listening and just poised to speak, the person you’re talking to will likely be able to tell.
Be Mindful of Your Body Language
It’s been said that about 55% of the overall message is made up of body language. This means that when you’re conversing face-to-face, most of what you are saying is being said by your body, and not by your words.
When speaking, try maintain full consciousness of what your body is doing. The first thing to remember is to maintain eye contact. Eye contact signals that you are paying attention and engaged; avoiding eye contact signals dishonestly. Then, be aware of the rest of your body. Don’t fidget because that signals nervousness, and uncross your arms, because crossed arms build a physical barrier between you and your conversation partner (creating tension).
Check back soon for more insight on creating effective communications!