Project Management

Walk the Talk

J. Kenyon Hayward

While most companies rank collaboration as a top priority, many fail to strategically capitalize on widely available technology to support and encourage better team communication on projects.

Consider for a moment how communication differs depending on relationship and the information being communicated. For example, when individuals wish to share special news or sensitive information, they typically speak in person to pick up on the nonverbal cues of gaze, expression and posture — all elements of body language. A face-to-face exchange maximizes the ability to connect on an emotional level and to offer appropriate responses.

Now imagine a different scenario. Two college friends want to catch up after a year or more out of touch. In this situation, a phone call, an email or letter work well. An unannounced visit to the friend’s house, however, might be awkward.

Each day, people make communication decisions based on several factors, including the relationship, the message content and the media available. These choices impact the quality of their relationships and their lives. In a project environment, however, team members often rely on — or are limited to — certain forms of communication when other options would probably be more appropriate, persuasive and productive.

And while most organizations rank communication and collaboration as top …

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"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."

- Rudyard Kipling