How to encourage effective communication in the office

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 By Jack Nevison

Every team member is responsible for contributing to a project, while a project manager shoulders the burden of keeping everything on track. If employees are failing to meet deadlines or keep hitting unforeseen roadblocks, perhaps it is time to act on improving communication. 

Effective communication is more than just speaking clearly or the prompt return of emails. Communication is a two-way street, and quality project management means that team members feel comfortable coming to you with issues or concerns. 

When conversing with employees, never interrupt or cut off a conversation. Make sure the team member has expressed everything they need to, and take a moment before responding. When it is time to reply, try to be concise and respectful, and maintain eye contact. Never "talk down" to an employee, instead give encouragement whenever possible. This builds trust, which will make communication more efficient in the future.

It is important to avoid any ambiguity about project details. No matter how intelligent and diligent your team might be, they cannot read your mind. Offer specific information about responsibilities, actions you want taken and deadlines for specific tasks. Don't be afraid to take the extra time to confirm project details, as a clear understanding of priorities and specific tasks help ensure projects are completed on schedule.  

At New Leaf Project Management, we offer over 200 hours of training to help transform you into a more productive project manager. We have a variety of online project management courses that offer low-cost ways to improve both communication and the bottom line, whatever your office environment may be. In addition, our white papers and online QPM games provide an affordable way to earn PDU credits for PMP recertification.

"PMI®," "PMP®," and "PMBOK®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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