5 Communication Skills Every Project Manager Needs
There are numerous studies that have been conducted among project managers globally that can identify top communication skills for leading teams. It turns out that leading people is as important as any task-based skill according to project managers in Europe, Middle East, India, America and Australia and Asia. But communication is yet another necessary set of skills; with the desire to accomplish a project with flying colors, staying updated and maintaining the trust and support of major and minor stakeholders, these are the set of skills that you need to master.
Below are the top five.
1. Active Listening. Listen, not hear. Most of the people on earth have the ability to hear but not everyone of that “most” can listen. Listening takes focus and it must mean that when you listen, you understand what you’re listening to; listening and understanding the words and the meanings behind them, not cutting in or having other thoughts, posting questions for clarifications and understanding body language. Listening can also avoid conflicts that are caused by misunderstandings.
2. Building Relationships based on Trust and Respect. To build a strong relationship, may it be a personal, a business or any kind of relationship, trust and respect are two of the fundamentals that must be established before going further. Without them, the relationship will be shallow. These two are not a right; they are earned through consistency and honesty, primarily.
3. Setting Clear Priorities. When a manager can relay an amazing game plan to his/her team through setting goals, planning and prioritising, success can be seen in the near future. The manager should be able to keep everyone’s head in the game, able to tell the team what a particular project is all about, able to show the team the larger scenario and even the little things in the project. As the project manager clears his/her mind of all the distractions, the team should be able to pick up from his/her example.
4. Enabling Collaboration. Setting up a collaborative environment is like living in a community with harmony. You strengthen each other’s weaknesses and empower each other’s strengths. Instead of just being concerned about getting their own workload done, a collaborative environment stimulates inspiration, motivation and support. Helping each other and sharing knowledge are also part of this. According to Adam Michaelson, “When we collaborate we get the 1×1=3 effect. Things happen that might not have if people had remained focused on their own work.”
5. Conveying the Organisation’s Vision. You must deliver why the company exists, how the company exists and what the company looks forward to accomplish in the future. This will show the bigger picture to them. Though, as a manager, before you can do this, you must first be passionate about the company’s vision too. How can you share, relate or relay something you cannot have? If you are as passionate for your company and what the company does as the company’s forefathers, establishers and founders are, your actions and work ethic will be enough conveyance to your team more than words can.