When it comes to project management, communication is essential. With good communication, you can gain the confidence of your team and even the support of your project goals. Hence project managers must have strong communication skills.
As a project manager, you’re responsible for coordinating the work of your team and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. It can be hard to keep everyone informed and up to date on the progress of a project. That’s where communication skills come in.
By understanding how communication works in your context, you can set up an effective system that works for everyone. So, what are the communication skills of project managers? Here are the best communication skills for project managers you need to know.
The importance of communication skills in project management
According to Project Management Skills, project managers communicate with the team frequently. In fact, 90% of project managers' time is reportedly spent on tasks linked to communication. This makes sense when you realise that the majority of a project manager's job includes communication.
For example, when giving a task to a team member, it’s important to specify what has to be done and the goals. Project managers may also need to communicate how to complete the assignment, depending on the team member’s skill levels.
Further, project managers can choose the communication types that are suitable to the team members, and update the project plan or report status.
What are the communication skills of project managers?
You can practise active listening as a project manager to enhance your listening skills. This is when you consciously try to listen to the message from another person.
You must focus on the other person in order to accomplish this. You cannot be distracted while the other person is still speaking about anything else happening around you or thinking otherwise. You also can't let yourself become bored and stop paying attention to what the other person says.
2. Public speaking
Public speaking is meaningful in many places. It’s important to deliver messages and public talks and manage projects, meetings, professional presentations, etc.
Project managers with good public speaking skills can make the project an otherwise unattractive idea seem more attractive. The majority of professional-level positions need some level of public speaking. It is often essential to deliver results, make presentations, and lead meetings.
3. Leadership communication
Leadership communication has the goal to inform team members of the values of the specific projects or company. This skill can help leaders generate a clear set of expectations for team members regarding their work and attitude.
This communication skill can also help create a shared definition of success that the team can strive for. Also, leadership is a strong way to communicate.
According to Harvard Business School, one study showed that 92% of respondents stated that while empathy is still underrated, 96% of respondents thought their employers must show it. Practise responding empathically if you want to enhance communication and create a culture that is stronger and more productive.
Further, one article from Fast Company showed that the more heard and valued your employees feel, the better you will get at recognizing and comprehending their emotions and experiences. Hence indicates that empathy becomes the communication skill that must be enhanced in order to make all people involved more engaged.
5. Body Language
We all agree that communication isn’t only formed as what we say, but it also can be formed as nonverbal cues such as body language. Focus on your body language when you’re communicating with other people.
Your body language shows a lot to other people. For this reason, if you have to communicate virtually, you should position the video camera such that the audience can observe your seating arrangement.
Further, show the facial expressions that excitement is also important. Every facial expression you make while taking part in a virtual meeting will be identified because your face will be taking up a sizable piece of the screen.
6. Written Communication
Written communication can be formed as email, text messages, project board, project plan, discussion notes, etc. Each form has a distinct written communication style. For example, email has a more straightforward and versatile option. While personal text messages may be more friendly than email.
Further, each form of communication has different goals depending on your needs. Also, be sure to use safe language when communicating with team members using written communication.
How to improve the communication skills of project managers?
After understanding what’s the importance of communication skills, and what are communication skills for project managers, according to Project Management Institute, here are the ways to improve the communication skills of project managers.
1. Identify Communication Needs: This way determines who needs the information, and the project team and project manager collaborate.
2. Identify the 5Ws + 1H: Yes it’s about Why, What, When, Where, and Who + How. What should be said in communication? When it needs to be explained. Where should the information be shared? Why and at what level is it crucial to communicate information? How the communication should be put out.
3. Identify the company’s culture: The company culture and structure, standards, and rules the project must stick to have an impact on project communications.
4. Identify the company’s assets: The company’s assets have an impact on the stakeholders and the team involved. It can be formed as organisational guidelines, regulations, and organisational process assets that affect communication.
5. Ask and receive feedback: Doing this way is best to improve the communication skills of project managers. After you give feedback to the team members, then their turn to do so for you.
6. Use project management tools: Using project management tools is important for your communication with team members. It shows the progress of your project, efficient and effective for your goals success in the project.
Communication is the key to leadership, including for project managers. If you want to deliver messages and inspire your team members, practice listening, public speaking, leadership communication, empathy, body language, and written communication.
Further, you can identify your communication needs until you use project management tools in order to improve your communication skills. Also, set goals and stay track of your progress.