Yes, having good communication skills is one of the key abilities of a project manager. However, this fact is frequently overlooked when choosing the ideal candidate for that position. Moreover, it is not emphasized as much as it should in most project management training programs. Thus, many times we find project managers with excellent management and technical skills but which are really not-that-good communicators.
Why is it so important?
First of all, because a good leader should be a great communicator in order to lead and motivate his or her team, as we have discussed before. This is something that not only applies to the members of the team but to all the stakeholders of the project. A project manager has to be aware that all of them have different profiles and interests, and that it requires from him or her a great ability to adapt the message to each one.
Good communication should be based on accuracy, clarity, transparency and interaction.
Accuracy has to do with the detail and scope of the information that is being transmitted. The project manager must be able to provide the information that is needed for everyone within and outside the team. Sometimes excessively detailed information may divert attention from the main message and can lead the interlocutor to confusion. Mostly, the communication with the team should focus on the objectives, and the plan to take to achieve them. While, for example, information that is provided to clients will focus on the requirements of the project and its evolution.
To ensure information clarity, the language is a crucial thing and the project manager must perfectly handle all its variants. Generally, it will be common to use a more technical and specific language within the team, and a more formal style if the message is addressed to a client or a company directive.
Transparency has a direct impact on the project manager’s credibility. A project manager’s honesty should be beyond doubt, and so, he or she has to provide continuous communication about the problems that arise.
The last principle, but not a less important one is interaction. Communication cannot be unidirectional. In all situations, with any type of interlocutor, the project manager must be open to dialogue. He or she has to know how to both ask and listen in order to get accurate information that can be relevant in later decisions.
As you can see, it is essential to have continuous communication with all parties involved in the project. To help you with this, Doolphy, as an online project management tool, helps you to centralize all project information and adjust the access to each kind of user.
Do you think communication is given the importance it deserves within project management? Do you consider the project managers you know good communicators? We would like to know your opinion.