Effective Business Communication

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Effective Business Communication

Once you understand the importance of communication skills in project management, the next step is ensuring that you communicate effectively.

There are four key aspects to effective communication in business projects...

  • Understand stakeholder needs
  • Be clear and concise
  • Be predictable
  • Communicate often

Understand Stakeholder Needs

Projects have many stakeholders, each with their own specific needs. Early in the project you should identify your key stakeholders and determine what information they need to know. Then tailor your project communication accordingly.

Be Clear and Concise

To be effective, you need to be able to communicate information clearly. This involves more than proper grammar and composition. It also includes being able to simplify complex ideas into logical pieces that allow for others to understand your message.

Being able to clarify and simplify complex issues is an important responsibility for a project manager. But you must be able to do this concisely. Your stakeholders don't want to go through paragraphs of information to understand an issue or topic. You need to take the time to breakout the key points in a concise yet complete way.

Be Predictable

Communicating project information on a regular basis and in a consistent format can help you manage stakeholder expectations and reduce individual requests for information. This is important for building trust and credibility with your project stakeholders.

The most obvious project deliverable that should be distributed on a set schedule is the Status Report. By sending your project status report on a set schedule and in a specified format, your stakeholders will know when they can expect to get project updates and what information will be included. As a result, they will be less likely to make unnecessary requests for information since they will have the confidence that your next report will be sent as scheduled.

Your Project Managemnt Communication Plan should specify any scheduled communications you will distribute as well as the information they will contain.

Communicate Openly

The final aspect for effective workplace communication is that you need to communicate often and openly. To do this you need to develop an open dialogue with your stakeholders where you are able to share both good news and bad news with them.

One of the worst things you can do is to sit on bad news. By communicating bad news earlier, you give everyone more time to adjust their plans or find ways to minimize the impact.

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