Project Management

Better Communication Environments

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

There will always be challenges around communications, be it giving or receiving information. But often it is the project environment we operate in that is the toughest challenge of all. Here are ideas for overcoming organizational barriers to effective communication. Consistency and context are keys.

You don’t need me to tell you communication can be difficult. It needs constant work, it can never be taken for granted, and it must continuously evolve if it is to remain effective. As individuals we can only control part of the communications cycle — the “push” part. The “pull” part — the process of receiving and interpreting communications — is dependent on the people communicating to us. And there is another element to communications that is sometimes overlooked — the environment we communicate within. This environment can have a significant impact on the success or failure of our communications, simply because it impacts the ability for our message to get through and to be processed effectively.

Communication doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it is layered on top of the work people do, the way they feel about that work, and the people they work with, their motivation and stress levels. That’s one of the prime reasons why it’s so important to develop a closely knit team of people – it creates an …

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"There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself."

- Johann Sebastian Bach