Project Practitioners > Year-End Communication Review

Year-End Communication Review

By Ann Drinkwater

Say what you mean, mean what you say and don't add unnecessary words and jargon. I am a big proponent of exhibiting both tact, but cutting to the chase. It can and should be done without sounding pompous. Time is money and no one has the time or energy to try and figure out what you are saying. There is a time and place for formal dialogue, but when trying to converse on everyday topics, be succinct and pay attention to the jargon and phrases you use.

As we wrap up the year, this is a good time to take stock of your communication habits over the past year. Each year that passes things get a little more rushed. During these times, it is easy to take short cuts on communication and pick up some annoying phrases coined during the year. We may not recognize these unfortunate traits in ourselves and may think our communication style and message is clear. To validate your methods, you could:

  • Record Upcoming Meetings – Recording your speech pattern, tone, choice of words, use of noise words (e.g. um) can help identify how you really sound to others. This technique can also allow you to cover some of the other bullets as you will be able to hear how others respond to you.
  • Think Back to Repeated Conversations – Do you often have to repeat yourself or rephrase your ideas? This doesn’t necessarily mean the delivery of the message is flawed, it could mean that the receiver needs the message to be altered in order to be properly interpreted. Tailoring our message and adjusting our method and message is all part of good communication.
  • Review What You Receive In Comparison to What You Request – While you may think your message is clear and you’ve properly delivered, looking at the work products and communication you receive in response to your messages can be very telling.
  • Review How You Are Perceived – Are you someone that is often consulted, or are you the last resort? Your openness and ability for others to easily communicate and work with you can be attributed to how you communicate and interact with others.

Our communication style should also exhibit some of our personality. Just remember, this is business, and we should keep it professional and concise.

How do you rate? Did you pick up anything during the year that needs to be corrected?

~Ann Drinkwater

Not all comments are posted. Posted comments are subject to editing for clarity and length.

Great thoughts for year end. Assessing your performance and outcomes is a good practice not only for appraisal time but also for developing and improving skills. Extemporanious speaking exercises this skill. If you're looking for a place to practice getting your point across succinctly, try finding your local Toastmasters.

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