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Topics: Leadership
Value of communication
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All of the text books as well as PMI stress the fact that communication is key in all aspects of project management and also in organizations at large.

My perception is that this is something that organizations have some difficulty with.

I believe that communication skills are a key strength in leadership.

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work alongside many people and I have often found that a good proportion of people managers are not very good at "communicating".

They don't provide sufficient feedback and are not comfortable with doing so.

Have you experienced something similar in your careers.
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In my current position, management is constantly telling us to communicate more. The problem is that we communicate up, but they do not communicate down. Sometimes they do so because they think being secretive means they have more power (I have actually heard one manager say, something is happening, but I can't tell you about it), sometimes it is condescending (you wouldn't understand) and there are times where they are fearful of telling you something that is not finalized (I can't tell you that you did not get the promotion until the person that gets it accepts it). As for feedback, this one manager is so fearful of confrontation that any feedback she gives you is usually less then truthful.

It also drives me crazy when I hear Management lie to or withhold information from our customers. It undermines credibility and trust.

I agree with you, that communication is something that many organizations struggle with.
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1 reply by Joey Perugino
Jan 18, 2018 11:22 AM
Joey Perugino
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It drives me a bit crazy also and has a PMO Manager - communication is one of the things that I really stress a lot on - however from what I can see in many cases that Sr Management does not follow the line.
In any case, there is definitely a lot of work to do on my end in order to bring about a bit of change.
Network:1016



Joey -

Absolutely! That's why I frequently quote George Bernard Shaw's famous quote "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

Even though good practices in communication have been well understood for close to a century (if we go back to Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People), those lessons just don't seem to get learned.

Now, we have greater challenges as the competing demands on people's time and the number of communication channels or options available have increased dramatically over the past couple of decades.

Kiron
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2 replies by Demetrius Williams and Joey Perugino
Jan 18, 2018 11:23 AM
Joey Perugino
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I love your quote Byron

"single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

I believe that to be so true :-)
Jan 29, 2018 11:27 PM
Demetrius Williams
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Kiron, this is so true ""The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
Network:98542



Communication is two way, it is not only about delivering the message but also making sure it is being understood.
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1 reply by Joey Perugino
Jan 18, 2018 11:28 AM
Joey Perugino
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Yes Rami - validating the message was properly received - paraphrasing - is very important.
Network:1529



Kiron I have never heard that quote before but I love it.
Network:778



I think communication is something which humans, in general, struggle with. Teenagers don't communicate with parents, if two adults are having relationship issues they will avoid addressing those issues, heads of state can just shoot off comments on social media platforms without thinking of consequences, two countries sharing a border won't enter into dialogues because of something that occurred 200 years ago... so it's not just a "business" or "organizational" problem, unfortunately.
/sd
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1 reply by Joey Perugino
Jan 18, 2018 11:31 AM
Joey Perugino
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Great way of putting it Sromon.
Communication problems go way beyond the realm of project management.
However, since project management focuses in a big way on human interaction - it is definitely something that we need to put a lot emphasis on in order to lead our projects successfully.
Network:544



Jan 18, 2018 10:12 AM
Replying to Dinah Young
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In my current position, management is constantly telling us to communicate more. The problem is that we communicate up, but they do not communicate down. Sometimes they do so because they think being secretive means they have more power (I have actually heard one manager say, something is happening, but I can't tell you about it), sometimes it is condescending (you wouldn't understand) and there are times where they are fearful of telling you something that is not finalized (I can't tell you that you did not get the promotion until the person that gets it accepts it). As for feedback, this one manager is so fearful of confrontation that any feedback she gives you is usually less then truthful.

It also drives me crazy when I hear Management lie to or withhold information from our customers. It undermines credibility and trust.

I agree with you, that communication is something that many organizations struggle with.
It drives me a bit crazy also and has a PMO Manager - communication is one of the things that I really stress a lot on - however from what I can see in many cases that Sr Management does not follow the line.
In any case, there is definitely a lot of work to do on my end in order to bring about a bit of change.
Network:544



Jan 18, 2018 10:23 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Joey -

Absolutely! That's why I frequently quote George Bernard Shaw's famous quote "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

Even though good practices in communication have been well understood for close to a century (if we go back to Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People), those lessons just don't seem to get learned.

Now, we have greater challenges as the competing demands on people's time and the number of communication channels or options available have increased dramatically over the past couple of decades.

Kiron
I love your quote Byron

"single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

I believe that to be so true :-)
Network:544



Jan 18, 2018 11:05 AM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Communication is two way, it is not only about delivering the message but also making sure it is being understood.
Yes Rami - validating the message was properly received - paraphrasing - is very important.
Network:544



Jan 18, 2018 11:14 AM
Replying to Sromon Das
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I think communication is something which humans, in general, struggle with. Teenagers don't communicate with parents, if two adults are having relationship issues they will avoid addressing those issues, heads of state can just shoot off comments on social media platforms without thinking of consequences, two countries sharing a border won't enter into dialogues because of something that occurred 200 years ago... so it's not just a "business" or "organizational" problem, unfortunately.
/sd
Great way of putting it Sromon.
Communication problems go way beyond the realm of project management.
However, since project management focuses in a big way on human interaction - it is definitely something that we need to put a lot emphasis on in order to lead our projects successfully.
Network:222



90% of the time PM's communicate through various means.

Business school Communication class used to stress communication frequency, i forgot the % but it was most of the time.

This is one of the most important skills whether you are in Project management or Operations Management.

Unfortuntately, it is not mastered that easily. Even mature 100 year old companies have poor communication practices. Basic skills such as Memo writing and Report writing are not done professionally.
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