Communication forms a vital part of every project and can often make or break its success. We know that setting up and maintaining clear lines of communication is a critical role of a project manager. However, for those in leadership roles additional communication skills take on higher importance; the ability to speak confidently and present in front of large audiences being is also a key aspect. to those in a leadership role. This can often proves a stumbling block towards career progression.
At the joint Swindon branch WiPM event Communicating for impact, influence and personal success, Jean Gamester, of Semaphora Consulting, shared with delegates her own experiences in this area, and how she enhanced and increased her skills in this area through joining speakers club Toastmasters International to become an award-winning public speaker now helping others improve their own communication skills.
This interactive session started by exploring project communications and the challenges faced. Delegates began by considering their current projects and the elements that need the most attention and honest and timely communication came top. This concurs with the opinion piece by Ann Pilkington in issue 254 of Project magazine, which explored the difficulties of project communication. Delegates then discussed three key project relationships: sponsors, those who are impacted by the projects and the project team. As well as looking at the challenges these groups pose to project managers, the opportunities available were also brain-stormed, such as being in a position to motivate the project team to perform to their best and developing user champions to promote the benefits of the project.
The session concluded with tips from Jean about developing our personal communication skills for career development, whether by learning by doing, such as volunteering to speak in non-threatening environments, or learning with others, such as a coach or mentor. Jean also suggested some motivational reading for more details see the event presentation.
Do you have any tips for improving communication, or stories about how you have gained personal success through advancing your own communication style? If so wed love to hear from you.