ABZ’s of communication for PM’s and Techies… J: Just do it (one step at a time)

With communication accounting for over 80% of a project manager’s time, the importance of GOOD communication cannot be overlooked.

J= Just do it… one step at a time!

If you are a well-read professional, you already know the value that comes with polished communication skills in terms of confidence, ability to think on your feet, and “promotability”.  Yet fear and inertia could override these benefits and keep one stuck.  What can we do about this?

Change is difficult – especially when it affects us personally.  When a change is proposed (like changing a habit), success comes when the cost of conformance to the new way is less than the cost of non-conformance.  In other words, if the benefits of change do not exceed the cost of not changing, we often go back to our former ways.

So, if you want to make a change to improve your communication skills remarkably, do it one small step at a time.  You may have heard the “joke” about how one should eat an elephant where the answer is one bite at a time.

So, what is a low risk way of improving your communication skills?  A number of low-cost yet effective organizations and tips can get you started including:

  • Toastmasters International (Toastmasters’ clubs meet weekly in many major cities across the U.S. and throughout the world. Newcomers and visitors are welcome and members practice and refine their public speaking skills by volunteering to speak at upcoming meetings in front of a supportive group of fellow members. Personally, I’ve attended several Toastmasters meetings during my speaking career and always found them to be consistently supportive of fellow members;
  • Dale Carnegie training.  While this is a structured program of seminars held over a three to four month period (and the cost is more than Toastmasters), the results are proven.  I hold fond memories of my own Dale Carnegie training and the experience of going back as a volunteer leader years ago.
  • Susan RoAne’s books (Secrets of Savvy Networking, How to Work a Room, and various other titles). Susan’s moniker as a mingling maven is well-earned as she continues to convert introverts into savvy networkers with her books and presentations worldwide.

Whatever direction you start out in to improve your communication skills – just do it by taking baby steps one at a time.  The benefits will enrich both your personal and business life so why not start by taking the first one today?

To your successful projects!


Carol Dekkers
email: dekkers@qualityplustech.com

For more information on northernSCOPE(TM) visit www.fisma.fi (in English pages) and for upcoming training in Tampa, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Helsinki and other locations in 2010, visit www.qualityplustech.com.


=======Copyright 2010, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED =======


2 responses to “ABZ’s of communication for PM’s and Techies… J: Just do it (one step at a time)

  1. Toastmasters! Yes! This is definitely a wonderful suggestion. I’ve never heard of a bad experience with this organization and have seen people go from being terrified to speak in public, to interesting and informative speakers. It’s certainly a great way to improve one’s ability to communicate!

    There also a free e book called “29 DAYS… to a habit you want!” by Richard Fast that goes into how we develop habits and how to change the foundations and causes of those habits. It’s very insightful and they also have a course/book specifically tailored to communication.
    I would suggest reading the free e-book to anyone who wants to change a habit of any sort, though. It certainly poses a beginning step in the right direction. =)


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