Communication Techniques – Video

Dick Billows, PMP

Dick Billows, PMP
Dick’s Books on Amazon

One of the most challenging parts of project management is choosing the communication techniques to use with all the different people who are involved with your project. Each of the team members, stakeholders and executives has a different personality and a different communication preference. You need to be able to “type” each of those personalities and then use the kind of communication that is most effective for them. What you can’t do is try and communicate in the same way with each of those different people. That may sound like it’s efficient but it’s certainly not effective. Project Management Skills Main Page

Let’s consider two of the personality temperaments or types that project managers encounter most frequently. People with the Guardian personality temperament (ISTJ in the Myers-Briggs terminology) make up the majority of executives in most organizations. These are very detail oriented decision-makers who want all of the data, usually in chronological order, before making a decision. If you push them for a quick decision, the answer will be NO.

Another frequently encountered personality type is the Executive (ENTJ in the Myers-Briggs terminology). This type makes up about 25% of the executives in most organizations. These are big picture thinkers who become quickly bored with the details and supporting information. They want to know the big picture and the end result, then they’re ready to make a decision.

Clearly the same communication techniques for these two executive types are not going to be effective. You need to tailor your entire communications process, including pre-meetings with individuals, to fit each temperament.

Now let’s watch a video of a project manager working with a team member. These two people have very different temperaments and the project manager is initially ineffective because he communicates with the team member in a way that suits his personality, not the personality of the team member. I’ll point out some of the key mistakes the project manager makes. Then we’ll look at the same meeting with the project manager tailoring his communications to fit the team member’s temperament. This yields a much better result.

You can learn effective communications techniques in our project management basics courses. Take a look at the basics course in your specialty.

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