As you have probably noticed, we have made some significant changes to the Greenlight website recently which I’m sure you agree, look very good. As part of these changes, I’ve updated my profile with my favourite quote;
This quote has taught me to only speak when necessary, when I am adding value to a conversation. If I am not adding value, I should be listening so that I can fully absorb what the other person is saying. This is a really important point, and is fundamental when communicating effectively with a project team. Over the next few paragraphs, I’ll list out a few of the most important aspects of communicating successfully either on a project, or as a leader.
How will you understand how your team feels, and be able to tap into their ideas/creativity for moving forward if you don’t listen? Without your team feeling like they have a voice that will be heard, why should you expect their buy-in to a project?
Ensure you have the right forum for them to air their views, remembering that not all project team members would be confident enough to give their opinions in a group discussion.
Why would a team work effectively for you, if they don’t trust what you do or what you say?
It is one of the most important elements of being a successful leader, as without trust, the team is unlikely to want to follow the direction or strategy suggested.
With trust, misunderstandings or mistakes can be resolved and the team can feel empowered to take responsibility. If there is a transparency from the leader, the team is more likely to feel ready to open up and there is no ‘fear factor’, harnessing an open and honest partnership between the team and manager.
Focus and control
In a crisis situation, how will the team members feel if their leader conveys panic by becoming stressed and out of control? Not particularly calmly themselves, one imagines.
Most projects do not go as planned, so how do we maintain control over the situation? By focusing, being rational and ensuring that the team are being communicated to effectively. Be a problem solver, agile and find the best solutions.
Team members want a leader to take control of situations, and be part of the plan to get things back on track.
Confidence and Influence
Have you ever worked with someone brilliant? The chances are that you’re likely to want to work with them again. The people that you always remember are the ones that were confident in the face of any challenge and had the ability to influence those around them.
Think about any time someone has tried to convince you of something. The people that successfully inspire are those that are confident in any message that they deliver. If you are not confident in what you’re saying, how would you expect anybody else to be?
This also means ensuring that you are informed of ‘why’ you are doing something? Often this part of the message is forgotten but is key to a successful delivery, especially if this can be tied back to the vision or strategy of the business.
Clarity of the message
What is it that you want to say to your team? Always remember that. Often the message isn’t tailored to the right audience, or full of acronyms that people don’t understand.
Keep in mind the ‘what’s in it for me’ message – what are people taking out of what you are saying, do they know what is expected of them?
When releasing the message, are there more appropriate people better placed to deliver it – i.e. an operational lead? Don’t be too proud to allow the message to be told by someone else, even if it is good news!
The message should be brief, clear and concise – hopefully like this blog!