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Improving Project Communication

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Instructor Information: Stuart G. Walesh, Ph.D., P.E., F.NSPE, Dist.M.ASCE

Course Length: 1.5 Hours

Purpose and Background

Project problems – low or no profitability, client alienation, litigation – flow much more from miscommunication than from technical deficiencies. Sometimes our desire to do excellent technical work causes us to give too little attention to interpersonal issues. You, as a project manager, can plan and implement effective communication, while not compromising technical integrity, by recognizing communication challenges and applying proven communication fundamentals and tools. And you, as an individual professional, can enhance your career possibilities while contributing to improved project communication. How? The webinar’s underlying theme is that communication must be planned, explicit, and on-going as suggested by the following comment by executive and professor Charles Handy: “Mental telepathy is not, I fear, a reliable means of communicating in most organizations.”

This 90-minute webinar presents 19 practical methods that the project manager can use for encouraging communication within the project team and between the project team and the client, owner, and other stakeholders. The webinar also speaks directly to the individual team member by offering communication tools and techniques that he or she can unilaterally apply. Participants receive a handout summarizing the webinar and a list of supporting articles, books, e-newsletters, and websites.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify 19 tips for enhancing communication
  • Understand the 12-step project death cycle
  • Appreciate that miscommunication is 4 times more likely to cause liability claims than technical deficiencies
  • Recognize 3 styles of understanding
  • Learn the 4 fatal assumptions when sending a message

Webinar Benefits

  • Enhance individual communication skills
  • Increase project team effectiveness
  • Strengthen project team-client-owner-stakeholder relationships
  • Reduce client owner conflict, uncompensated scope creep, and liability exposure

Intended Audience

This webinar is intended for younger and middle level personnel in both the private, public, and academic sectors who lead or serve on project teams. The concepts and techniques are applicable to all disciplines and specialties.

Webinar Outline

  • Client and project life or death cycle
  • Tips for effective project communication
  • What you send versus what they get
  • Results of communication studies
  • First look inward
  • Stakeholder identification
  • Communication protocol
  • Caution with “red flag” words
  • Creating ownership
  • Mixing “push” and “pull”
  • Learning styles and how to use them
  • Reality check: Using third parties
  • Psychological types
  • “Listening” with the eyes
  • Trimming hedges
  • Rearranging the office
  • Resources for additional study