Essential communication skills for project management
by Jo Ann Sweeney - 06:43 on 30 September 2014
Communication skills are rarely a prerequisite for project management roles, even though relationships with stakeholders are a major part of projects.
So what skills should we look out for when recruiting team members and what develop in ourselves?
Lets start with the big picture! There are lots of different ways of categorising communication skills; for project teams I find the most useful are:
Strategy & planning Developing the overarching strategy plus tactics that appeal to our stakeholders and our team can easily deliver; of course they’ll be linked to business and project goals
Implementation Creativity, production and distribution; including writing, editing, proof reading, public speaking, presentations, web management, AV production, printing, design and photography
Evaluation Monitoring and measuring stakeholder responses then reporting achievements
Interpersonal relationships Between team members and with other stakeholders. This will include active listening, clarifying, discussing and debating, collaborating, negotiating, persuading, building consensus, giving feedback, trust and respect.
The easy way to work out which skills will make a difference to our team’s achievements is by considering where stakeholders are in terms of their knowledge and attitude towards our project. Then plotting how we will move them from where they are to where we want them to be and the skills needed to do so.
12 essential skills for proactive communication gives an overview of the essential skills to connect with audiences
Top 5 communication skills for project managers examines the key relationship building skills project teams say they value
Professional qualification or short course discusses the pros and cons of different types of training and recommends some providers in the UK and globally
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