ABZ’s of Communication for PMs and Techies… N: (part 1) Nots

With communication accounting for over 80% of a project manager’s time, it makes sense to focus on clear and effective communication.

Today’s post refers to N= Nots (as in do not’s)…

This posting is a series of reminders of what not to do for effective communication (Often negative reminders have more “stickiness” than positive ones!):

  • Don’t assume that your message reached the recipient when you don’t get a response (it may have been waylaid);
  • Don’t overlook body language in communication (body language accounts for more than 50% of what message is received);
  • Don’t rely on technology without following up (computers are fallible);
  • Don’t take a lack of feedback as acceptance (trust but verify!);
  • Don’t overlook the potential that cultural differences can have on your communication (culture can change the message interpretation remarkably);
  • Don’t ignore your instincts when it comes to audience reaction (your gut feel is often correct);
  • Don’t “wing” it with important messages (practice makes perfect);
  • Don’t underestimate your audience (be authentic);
  • Don’t talk down to your listeners (treat them with respect);
  • Don’t use TLA’s and FLA’s without explaining them (TLA is a three-letter acronym and FLA is a four-letter acronym. Acronyms are dangerous in communication because they can have MANY different meanings);
  • Don’t assume that listeners from other countries will understand American idioms (they don’t);
  • Don’t rollout communication plans before you test them first (it is much more cost-effective to re-plan than to have to do damage control);
  • Don’t rely on theoretical models – use historical results as predictors of future behavior.

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.


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