As the project manager, it is important to develop a communication plan for the duration of your project. Good communication helps your project run smoothly, leads to better outcomes, and supports a healthy team culture. You can use these four tips to foster effective communication within your team:
Recognize and understand individual differences
You can encourage open, inclusive communication by:
- Not making assumptions about your audience’s backgrounds, identities, or experiences.
- Being mindful of your own biases.
- Using appropriate, professional, and neutral language.
- Including, respecting, and being curious about diverse points of view.
As the project manager, you will undoubtedly work with a diverse group of team members and stakeholders on each project. You will need to understand each team member’s background, experiences, perspectives, and biases—as well as your own—to communicate effectively.
Brainstorm and craft the appropriate message
Communicate the right message by thinking about your intended audience. With whom are you communicating? In your communications, always be clear about your reasons for reaching out:
- What channels can your audience use to contact you or the team?
- Are you conveying information?
- Are you asking for input?
- Are you clarifying an issue?
- Are you resolving a problem?
Some team members may require detailed information, while others may only need an overview of the situation. No matter your audience, you should be sure to identify the purpose of the message, state the information or request clearly and concisely, and stay on topic.
Deliver your message
As you craft your message, think about which methods are available and appropriate for communicating with various members of your team, whether that is in person, in a video conference, over the phone, via email, or in a meeting. Choosing the right method is especially important if you have team members or stakeholders in different regions and time zones. Also, be sure to:
- Avoid including any sensitive or potentially private information.
- Assume everyone at the company will receive the communication.
Obtain feedback and incorporate that feedback going forward
Communication doesn’t end when you deliver your message, so be sure to follow up with your audience by:
- Checking to make sure your message was clear.
- Asking them for feedback.
- Encouraging open communication.
- Responding to questions quickly.
In this final step, you will obtain feedback from your audience to ensure that your message was received as you intended.