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Learn about the basic communication skills you need in Project Management to work effectively with others in the workplace.From the author:“Communication is the most vital aspect for a seamless project management experience. Look no further than this course to boost your skills when it comes to collaboration and delegation in your project team. This 5-part course provides an introduction to communication, writing techniques, collaboration and delegation skills. We can guarantee you success in project management upon the completion of the forementioned topics!”
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How communication works Communication is made up of the sender, the receiver, the medium and the message. Getting your message across with clarity cannot be achieved without understanding how these components interact with each other.
The message The message is the information the sender is trying to communicate to the receiver. The message is based on the sender's thoughts and perspective. It's important to be careful when crafting your message, as the receiver may interpret the content using their own thoughts and perspective. Be careful, a message is more than just words! Body language and other non-verbal cues can change the meaning of the message to the receiver.
The sender The sender's role is to communicate the message to the team. It could be any one such as the project manager, senior management, a client, or anyone else on the team. Be careful! Most of what we communicate is also impacted by our beliefs, personal thoughts, values, and emotions. Think about your own personal thoughts and feelings and decide how they are impacting your message.
The medium The medium is the way the message is delivered to the receiver. It could be in-person, an e-mail or on the telephone. The medium can also impact how a message is received. For example, if the team is busy, then sending an email with time sensitive updates could get missed. Think about how the medium you choose may impact your message.
The receiver The receiver is the person who interprets the message. They'll either accept, reject, question, or revise the message sent to them. In response, they'll communicate feedback back to the sender that can be either neutral, positive, or negative. Think about how your message might be interpreted or perceived by your team members and the kind of response you might get back.
Putting it all together.
Sally wants her team to stay back tonight to complete a milestone task that's at risk of missing the deadline. A colleague says that she can't stay. Sally, in her own joking way, pretends to be angry. Unbeknownst to her, the colleague gets offended. How could've Sally handled the situation better?
Planning your communication## Have you ever received an e-mail or presentation that you struggled to get through? Maybe it was all over the place or it didn't seem to have a point. This can often be due to lack of planning on the writer's part. Taking the time to plan your communication before you begin writing can reverse this. Let's take a look at the planning stage.
Who is the audience? Determining who the intended audience is will help you figure out the tone, pace, depth, and structure of your written communication. It can also help determine the medium. For example, highly sensitive information or content requiring lengthy discussion should not be written in an e-mail.
What is the goal? Determine what point you are trying to get across. If you don’t know the answer to this, your audience definitely won’t figure it out. Not having a clear and concise goal also has a negative impact on the actual writing; the content might be too short and vague to understand, or it may become long-winded and full of jargon.
Do your research Once you have your intended audience and goal, figure out if you have enough information to write the content. Do you need to get another team member's expertise? Is further research needed to get additional information? A message that is missing key information can impact your communication.
What do you need to know before you begin the planning stage? Select all of the correct answers.
Editing your communication Swipe up to learn some of the best practices for polishing and finalizing what you've written.
Check the content The content of your communication should include everything necessary to get your point across. Check for "need to know" information versus "nice to know". If it's nice to know, but not needed - remove it.
Check the formatting The look and feel of your communication can improve readability. Ensure you have clear topic headings and have used bolding and spacing appropriately.
Check your grammar There's nothing like a spelling error or a simple grammar mistake to ruin a wonderfully crafted communication. Check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Creating a collaborative work environment Ever get stuck on a problem or hit a roadblock on a project? It’s difficult to imagine new ways of doing things, when working alone. Collaboration is about bringing new ideas and skills into the picture, making problem solving or brainstorming easier and faster. How do you bring people together for a project?
Ask for team input Team work is never a top-down affair, so it makes sense to build collaboration right from the source: the project team. Bring your team together and let them brainstorm ideas on how they envision collaborating with each other. This accounts for the different work styles and preferences of your team members.
Emphasise the goal It's not enough for your team to simply work together, they need to work together to achieve the project's end goal. Does your team have a clear understanding of the project's vision? Have a discussion with the team about what the project is trying to achieve and how everyone can contribute. A common interest will help bring people together.
Show leadership If your project team has people working in different departments or even remotely, they may not be used to working with each other. Project managers can help create a sense of community by bringing team members together with a communication plan. Developed with your team, a communication plan can determine how and when everyone collaborates. This reduces confusion and frustration and gives team members direction.
Deciding to delegate tasks It can sometimes be daunting to hand off tasks to other team members. Will the work be done on time? Will it be done right?
Know your resources Assigning a resource, in this case the team member, to a task means giving them the responsibility. Once they're assigned to the task, they may not have the capacity to take on any other tasks. Compare your resources and the tasks to make sure you allocate appropriately.
Focus on skills Focus on tasks that are in your area of expertise and delegate tasks that fit with the expertise of your team members. If team members feel confident in their ability to complete the work, you'll feel more confident, too.
Focus on work ethic Choose team members who consistently meet deadlines and have good work ethic. The point of delegation is to hand off work and reduce your workload, not increase it by chasing people or redoing work yourself.
Offer support Make sure that resources and support are available where appropriate. If a task requires a specific software, tools or other needs, make sure that these needs can be fulfilled.
Before delegating a task to a team member, what should be considered? Select all of the correct answers.