Frequent Communication Gaffes by Project Managers

Communication GaffesIt is certainly needless to talk about the vast and budding scope of the PMP certification. Being one of the most valued certifications, project management professionals are required in every industry sector. You very well know how persistent you need to be in order to get those three magical letters on your resume. You are undeniably competent in effectively handling and completing the projects that are assigned to you. However, there are a few communication gaffes that are committed by project managers quite often attributed to their tight schedules and idealistic goals that need to be met. In the majority of instances, project managers are well-versed with their harder skill sets, such as designing plans and monitoring reports, as compared to soft skills, such as effectually interacting and inspiring their teams. Mastering an assessment model or scheduling software is not sufficient to fetch you the glory. In this article, let us particularly focus on those slip-ups that are chiefly soft-skill related.

Have You Said ‚ÄòYes’ When You Actually Meant ‚ÄòNo’?

Project managers are repeatedly pushed into situations in which they are answerable for several aspects of an ongoing project or questioned whether they can deliver a specific result within extremely short time period. Owing to the pressure, chances of you accepting such deadlines can land you in trouble. Promising more than what you can actually deliver can be detrimental to your project. This could even ruin your reputation and prove you inept. Rather, take a moment to appropriately gauge the demand of your client as well as the existing circumstance before you say yes. Coming up with effective alternatives or suggesting acceptable solutions can definitely save you. Remember, your client is also a person simply looking after his best interests, and not a monster.

Talk Less Listen More

Being a project manager is synonymous to handling high pressure situations and meeting tight deadlines. In such a scenario, you often remain busy in resolving the prevailing issues, allocating tasks, coordinating the team’s activities and accessing the progress of your project. During this time you tend to give instructions rather than taking some time to have an effective conversation with your team members in order to understand their concerns and shortcomings. Such a conversation with team members will indeed let you evaluate the situation and check whether they have understood your message. No one ever prefers to be unceasingly told how to go about things. Just put yourself on the receiving end and you will instantly get the answer. So, just take some time to find out how your team feels and what the team understood from your message. Knowing the concerns of your team and working towards solving them can be absolutely rewarding as this fortifies the trust between you and your team.

Letting Out Superfluous Information is a Strict No

Although it is tremendously thoughtful on your part to provide a detailed account of all the particulars of the project that you are handling to your client and boss, please ensure that you do not burden them with excess information that can confuse them. Ensure that your periodic status update contains all the evidence of your progress, a summary of all the risks and your approach to handle them. If you are just providing an update then mention this in your communication. At times you need to take their ideas and inputs before you make a decision, in such situations you can make it clear to your boss that you are waiting for his/her opinion.

In-Person Communication with Your Client

Direct communication comes with greater benefits compared to e-mailing. While e-mails are best suited for small items without any complexities, a detailed face-to-face interaction is mandatory for better management of the project. If you avoid a face-to-face communication just to avoid a tough discussion, this can lead to numerous misapprehensions and divergences due to lack of timely communication. Hence, always directly communicate the exact situation to your client and keep them prepared for what is in store for them. Face-to-face communication aids you in developing trust, to sense conflicts quicker, to seek client’s advice, to win the support of your client and to better understand your client to deliver best results.

Are You Ready for Some Positive Criticism?

Now that you are a manager, overcome the fear of knowing what people think about you. It is normal to feel uneasy getting yourself evaluated by your junior colleagues. But then, by doing so you will surely benefit as this might reveal some of your strengths and weaknesses that you were not aware of. Your fear of hearing negative criticism might impede you from knowing your true potential. Always welcome the feedback and work on improving your strengths and diminishing your weaknesses. The plus points that you get from your subordinates surely builds your strength and boosts your morale. It is simple to ask your team members for their views on you. Who knows, at the end of the day, you might be one of the most sought after managers.

Apart from the above discussed aspects there are several other factors that cause communication flaws. Relying solely on periodic meetings with your team members to know the progression of the project should also be avoided. Ensure these such meetings are swift and rather have one-on-ones as often as possible to listen to the needs of your staff. Try and understand resolve their issues ASAP to achieve your target sooner.

No matter how well planned your project is, or how much equipped you are to handle it, one small communication gaffe can change your project drastically. Keep the spirit of your project team high with effective soft skills and witness the upsurge in performance. After all, there is no rocket science involved in efficiently completing your project and climbing up your career ladder.

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Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar, an engineer by education, has experience of serving the IT industry for 13 years. He had completed his engineering from NIT, Surathkal, and was working with Infosys, to start his career. But soon he realized his skill set to lie in entrepreneurship. He is known for his entrepreneurial achievements and has a track record of establishing new IT ventures and taking it to new heights. Currently he is the CEO of Simplilearn Solutions and displaying his expertise in e-commerce, through innovative online learning portal, which was started with the aim to help professionals round the world in achieving their world recognized professional certification.