The three key elements to effective project communications are relevance, responsiveness, and occurrence.
Good team discussions depend on how well team members are able to communicate with each other. By understanding others and conveying your thoughts you will help breakdown communication barriers. A guideline for practicing open communications are:
Pro-active listening is exploring others ideas rather than debating their ideas. There are five steps in practicing pro-active listening:
Some roadblocks to watch out for are:
Weekly team meetings are an effective communication method to discuss project issues. All the stakeholders need to be in attendance and the meeting needs to be organized to be effective. The meeting should have a designated facilitator that keeps the meeting on time, facilitates open discussions so that everyone is heard, and records decisions made in the meeting. Everyone on the team is busy and most meetings can be held effectively within an hour. The meeting agenda should be sent out prior to the meetings and meeting minutes with assigned action items should promptly follow all meetings. In a meeting it is easy to misinterpret what was said and a formal recording will allow everyone to read the same interpretations thus saving the project time and money. A method needs to be in place to allow corrections to be made to the minutes if there is a discrepancy in what was recorded.
Communication between team members has never been so easy and quick. Email, cell phones, the internet, and tablets all allow projects to be managed 24 – 7. Some caution comes with using these new technologies that allows instant communications. With the loss of personal contact we lose the ability to observe and check the sender’s body language. Email can be hastily written and can communicate wrong intentions when not enough time is allowed for the sender or receiver to view the communications or problem in full perspective. Email can be quickly forwarded to others without the senders knowledge, so make sure what you write is intended for anyone’s eyes. It is important that you think first and make sure you are not emotional over the issue and it is recommended to clarify any issues by calling first before writing.
Using the techniques above will ensure a solid high producing team that is fun and rewarding. Feel free to share your comments and suggestions!