Effective Communication Rules – Do You Know Them?
Here is a list of effective communication rules that WILL come in handy. There is no denying that communication is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to any project. If your team does not communicate efficiently with one and other, you are never going to be able to deliver in terms of quality, deadline, and budget.
If you feel that effective communication is a problem for your project team, read on to discover some ways to improve this as outlined in this contributed article.
In this guide, we are going to take you through five of the improvements you can make so that communication is enhanced during your projects.
Once we have done that, we will then zone in on one of the most important communication elements of any projects: meetings. Meetings are critical to project success.
If your team does not communicate efficiently with one and other, you are never going to be able to deliver in terms of quality, deadline, and budget.
However, there are so many project managers out there that are not holding meetings successfully. So, with that being said, let’s start with five useful communication tips…
- Think about the way your office is laid out – Is your office space halting communication and, therefore, productivity? It can seem like a lot of effort to rearrange your office space, especially on a project-by-project basis, but it can be extremely beneficial. You need to give your team the mental and physical space to collaborate and create effectively. Did you know that by using office space more effectively and investing in ergonomic furniture you could boost productivity by as much as 64 per cent? This works across all industries. Let’s say you work in the medical sector. Investing in portable machines when possible, for example, a portable ultrasound machine, can add more flexibility to the environment, making the medical center seem more spacious and an overall better environment for everyone working in it.
- Focus on team building – If you want to improve team relations, you need to focus on team building. There are many team-building activities, which can really help for long-term projects whereby your team is going to be interacting daily for the foreseeable future. There are many outdoor activities and work retreats that you can consider. Not only this, but you should encourage cross-departmental education, focus on company culture, identify and reach out to shy employees, and celebrate your employees’ achievements.
- Take inventory of your own communication skills – If you want to improve the communication of your project team, you need to look closer to home as well. If you want to serve as a model leader, you need to continue to develop and improve. You can do this by taking one of the available project management courses. Other ways to improve your communication skills include taking suggestions in earnest and explaining why when you cannot use the suggestions. You should also never personalize criticism, make communication two-way, inform and inspire, follow up in writing, and be mindful of how you are communicating. It is important to make eye contact and have a relaxed facial expression and stance when talking.
- Motivate your team – As a project manager, you need to ensure your team is motivated. If members are not motivated by the project, they aren’t going to want to communicate effectively with others because, quite simply, they don’t care enough to do so. To motivate your team members, not only should you identify a common goal, but you need to show each member how their role is pivotal to the success of the project.
- Invest in tools to boost communication – Last but not least, there are many tools available today to help teams boost their communication, and you should make the most of these. Team communication apps come highly recommended. You should also consider an online project management tool, which will enhance collaboration so that everyone can work more effectively together. You may even want to consider creating a website that is specifically for the project. That way, all of the pivotal information, including the project plan and the objectives are in one place.
So there you have it: five of the best ways to enhance communication between your team members.
Follow the tips mentioned above and you will have a great starting point in terms of boosting communication during any sort of project.
However, there is another element of project management you are going to need to master if you are to ensure efficient and successful communication during a project, and this is how to hold an effective project meeting.
How To Have An Effective Project Meeting
One thing you will learn about in project management courses is the importance of holding regular meetings and communicating effectively with your team.
However, there are so many project managers who do not run successful project meetings. While they hold them regularly, they allow the meeting to run off course and they do not achieve what they set out to.
With that in mind, read on for some top tips on how to have an effective project meeting.
The first thing you need to do when planning any meeting is set objectives. We have all been there – spent two hours in a meeting and felt like we have achieved absolutely nothing. This occurs when there are no objectives set out before the business meeting takes place.
By having a list of objectives, you give your meeting structure and ensure you achieve something from it. You also need to make sure that you get the right people to attend the meeting.
There is no point in inviting the whole team to the meeting if you are going to be discussing issues that do not concern half of them.
Another tip for holding an effective project meeting is to keep the papers short. If you hand over a huge number of project papers, which feature masses of detail, you are only going to de-motivate everyone in attendance. And, of course, you will be wasting resources too.
Instead, try to keep it to one-page per objective or issue. One option to consider is a traffic light system. With this, you can give out a template, which is split into three sections – green, amber, and red. Red is for major issues, amber is for some issues, and green is for things that are going well.
Make sure the meeting room is comfortable. This is something that a lot of project managers overlook. However, it is important to take care of your team if you want them to engage and perform to the best of their ability.
Make sure you select a comfortable conference room. If it is the middle of summer, turn the air conditioning on, for example.
You should also ensure that the meeting starts and finishes on time. There is nothing more frustrating than a meeting running 30 minutes over schedule. Equally, the last thing you want is for people to turn up halfway through.
If you stick to your end of the bargain by starting and finishing on time, your team will stick to theirs.
As you can see, holding an effective project meeting does not need to be difficult. If you consider everything that has been mentioned above, and implement the simple tips that have been suggested, you can ensure that you make the most of each and every project meeting that you hold.
And, remember; don’t hold a meeting for the sake of it. Regular catch-ups are important, but there are instances when instant messenger or a phone call will be just as effective. Use all modes of communication available to you.
Final Thoughts On Effective Communication Rules
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to communicate effectively during projects. There is no denying that communication is one of the factors most critical to success in any type of project.
However, it is also an area whereby a lot of people go wrong too, which is why you really need to consider your approach to this with each and every project that you are in charge of.
If you follow the tips that have been provided and you brush up on your project meeting skills, you are bound to notice a positive improvement. Yes, without a doubt, effective communication rules are a necessity for getting the message you want across in the way that you intend. All the best.
Images courtesy of Pixabay
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