7 tips for communicating effectively with project stakeholders
Posted: Sep 07, 2017
Effective communication is critical to the success of any project. Not only does this mean communicating effectively with your team members, but it also means successful communication with your project stakeholders. With that in mind, read on to discover some top tips on how to get your message across properly:
1. Don’t stop reporting the status of the project because the stakeholders no longer require it – It can be easy to slip into the mode of no longer providing project updates because you feel they are no longer needed. However, your stakeholders will simply assume that you are not doing anything if things go quiet.
2. Take a training course – A successful project manager is one that never stops learning. There are many top project management training courses available today, which will teach you about the different communication techniques and approaches you can use. Project management training refreshers can be more of a benefit than you may realise.
- Use different communication approaches – There are many different ways you can communicate with your stakeholders, including face-to-face meetings, conference calls, newsletters, presentations, mind mapping software, online Gantt charts, project reports, and much more. It is a good idea to use a variety of approaches so that you can get your message across more effectively. Of course, don’t merely choose any technique you fancy – you need to ensure it is appropriate for delivering the information in question in the best manner.
- Specify the actions required – One thing a lot of project managers are guilty of is assuming that their stakeholders know what they need for them. This is not always going to be the case – you need to spell it out. If you need your stakeholders to do something for you, restate – in list form – exactly what is required and when.
- Don’t simply wait around – Waiting is never a good option. Part of managing stakeholders effectively is anticipating issues and dealing with them before they manifest. You should never wait until an issue becomes obvious, as it will be much more difficult to deal with at this point.
- Keep it simple – You should not overwhelm your stakeholders with information. You need to keep it simple and explain the situation to them using straightforward terms. It is always important to be efficient and cut to the chase. However, you also need to be prepared for the fact that your stakeholders may want to delve deeper and ask questions, so be ready for this too.
- One size never fits all – Last but not least, if you are to boost stakeholder management by improving your communication skills, you need to realise that one size most definitely never fits all. You need to understand the stakeholder you are communicating with above all else. You need to ensure the right information is provided to the receiver, delivered via a channel he or she prefers and in the proper format. This is the only way to make sure that your communication has the effect that was intended.
The author has written and published articles on a wide range of topics including Small Business Advice, Tax and Accounting, Interior Design, House Renovation and Project Management.