Communication for project managers-teaching skills

Communication major dimensions scheme

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Part two -Get your point accross

Read Part one

Basic teaching skills

I use the word teaching because there is really no difference between teaching/learning and communication of any other sort.  Your role is to help people understand the concepts you are communicating and to see the world in the same way that you want them to and to learn to see it the way they do in order to improve your ability to communicate with them.

People develop immunity to certain words and phrases and styles of communication.  E.G. ” Closing down sale” is unlikely to conjure up images of a shop about to close and selling premium stock very cheap.  If you are hoping to convince wealthy shoppers to read your message, this is probably not the way to go.
Much like a spammer who avoids certain words that get picked up by spam filters, you need to carefully craft your messages so that they are not rejected instantly as a result of being associated with boring messages that never are interesting or official stuff that nobody ever reads.

Communication styles

Try to aim your communication style so that it appeals to everyone. Your readers or listeners will use different styles to deal with your messages. Some imagine pictures, other listen to the message and yet others concentrate on the feelings it engenders. You need to try and ensure that it meets the needs of each type of recipient.

Use analogy to simplify complex messages

Finally you must make maximum use of analogy as a way of explaining complexity to a lay audience.
Compare your ideas to parallel ideas that people will already understand. E.G.  “A DNS server is just like a dictionary where you can put in a name and get back the correct number. We do this because remembering the names is easier for people, but the numbers are easier for machines.” An example added to this makes it easy to understand and memorable. The more colourful  the example the more memorable.

Use comparison to establish a position

A position means a way you relate me, or my project  to others. I would like you to see me as the Bentley of Project managers. That way I am assuming that you rate the Bentley very highly as a Motor car and by association you would then rate me very highly.

By taking some time to understand your audience and to plan your communication style and content, you can achieve a great deal more with your communications and make life easier for yourself on all fronts.

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