Are your projects suffering from lack of momentum? Feeling stalled? Wondering why it’s so hard to make progress? The answer may lie in the way you’re handling communications.
Projects are a compilation of tasks, often requiring input or work from several people. The way you gain agreement to that input or work will have a direct impact on your ability to stick to a delivery schedule.
- Wherever possible, have people select their own due date. Give them sufficient time to review what you’re asking them to produce before they give their commitment.
- Tell all project team members that you’ll schedule auto reminders to be sent out three days before the due date. This way they won’t be surprised.
- Don’t leave voicemail messages that put you in wait mode. If you must leave a message, make it compelling – not just “call me.”
- Check in with people halfway through their work period — and never use the phrase “is everything going ok?” We humans have an unnatural need to say everything’s fine, even when it isn’t. At the checkpoint, review the project and their deliverable to see if you can stimulate any questions. This is actually your way of getting them excited about the outcome instead of dreading the deadline.
- Instead of sending an email when you need an answer, use the phone, or visit them if you work in the same location.
- Ask each team member what kind of communication they like best: phone, email, in person…
Your project leadership skills are getting sharper just from reading this! So what will you implement right now?
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