Communication for Project Managers: Because Mind-reading Is Not a Superpower (Yet)

Alright, grab a coffee and let’s spill some tea about communication in project management. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers spend up to 90% of their time communicating. Let’s be honest, we’re pretty much professional talkers with a knack for spreadsheets. Let’s talk through some tips for project managers to master the art of communicating effectively.

##Be Clear

First off, we’ve got this concept called clarity. It’s the revolutionary idea that when you tell people what to do, you should actually make it, you know, clear. It’s shocking, I know! But it turns out that when people understand things like, oh, goals, deadlines, and who does what, projects tend to implode less. Who would’ve thought?

## Check In

But wait, there’s more. Clarity’s clingy cousin, frequency, is just as important. Regular updates can help avoid that awkward moment when half the team is working on Version A and the other half on Version B from three weeks ago. You know, those magical times when chaos ensues, and everyone starts a career contemplation.

##Open Communication

Open communication is another buzzword worth mentioning. Essentially, it’s about creating an environment where everyone feels free to share their brilliant or, um, less brilliant ideas. And where they feel safe enough to say “Hey, this is a disaster waiting to happen” and not “Everything is just peachy” when it clearly isn’t.

##Shut up and Listen

Now, communication isn’t just about flapping your gums. It’s also about shutting up and listening – or ‘active listening’ if you want to sound fancy. It’s about actually absorbing what’s being said instead of mentally rehearsing your lunch order.

##Use Tech

Then we’ve got these little digital darlings – tools like Asana, Trello, Slack, and a hundred others. They’re a godsend for communication. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and turn your workday into a never-ending saga of tool mastery.

##Many Ways to Access

Let’s not forget, everyone has their own communication love language. Some people live for emails, while others only function with face-to-face conversations or those lovely midnight Slack pings. So, you’ve got to morph into a communication chameleon and adapt to everyone’s style.

##Update Stakeholders

And then there’s external communication with stakeholders. I mean, who doesn’t love managing expectations and maintaining a facade of total control, while the project wobbles like a toddler on a sugar rush? But seriously, keeping stakeholders in the loop can save a lot of headaches and frantic late-night emails.

##Get Better

And don’t forget the most important part, folks. Always strive to improve your communication skills. Not because you aren’t great already, but because there’s always that one person who just doesn’t get it unless you deliver the message while standing on your head and juggling.

So, there you have it. Communication, the unsung hero of project management. Just remember, as the witty George Bernard Shaw quipped, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” And the last thing you want is to be the star of that illusion, right?