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By Denis G.

3 minutes

Program Management Communication Tips

If you’re a program manager then a sizable proportion of your day will be spent thinking about communication. In fact, whether you’re a program manager, project manager, or general manager, you need to regularly think about how you communicate and whether any adjustments can be made to improve your communication. With that, here are eight simple tips you can be use to improve your communication. If you have any communication tips of your own then please share by leaving a comment below.

1. Show Empathy

How might what you are about to say impact the receiver of the information? Can you change the way you say something to appeal to the concerns or interests of the receiver? This tip is all about expressing benefits from the point of view of the receiver.

2. Seek Feedback

Seek out feedback to make sure not only that you have been understood but also that your message has reached all the right people.

3. Use Reinforcement

When developing communication plans think about how you might be able to communicate your message in different ways, reemphasing the important points, to help get your message across.

4. Face to Face is Best

If possible, choose to deliver your message via face to face dialog. People may not read your emails or attend your conference calls, so this is a great way to ensure everyone is hearing the message. Additionally, criticism given verbally is often far more constructive than written communication.

5. Think about Language

Simple and direct language is understood by all and very clearly gets your message across. This is especially important if you are working across cultures. Aycronyms and buzz words may work in your management team meetings but if you need to have your message understood by a larger ground then exercise some disipline and keep it simple.

6. Under Promise, Over Deliver

There is nothing worse than someone who promises a lot but delivers nothing, or someone who insists everything is okay when everyone can see the writing on the wall. Be honest with people, and learn to under promise and over deliver, and people will be much more likely to listen and believe what you have to say next time.

7. Use Multiple Channels

If you use face to face communication, consider supplementing it with a written communication, or a video, or even just some bullet points. You aim here is simply to reinforce your message and give people who missed your face to face meeting the opportunity to listen to your message.

8. Distill your Message

Good managers make the extremely complicated seem simple. Don’t worry about the intracate details of you message or situation, and instead focus on a maximum of 2-3 key messages you want to get across (preferably 1). You can always get into intricacies during any Q&A session.

If you’ve got your own tips you’ve implemented to improve your communication as a program manager, then why not share it/them by leaving a comment below.

Cite this article

Minute Tools Content Team, Program Management Communication Tips, Minute Tools, May, 2011,
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Denis G.

Originally hailing from Dublin, Denis has always been interested in all things business and started EPM in 2009. Before EPM, Denis held a leadership position at Nokia, owned a sports statistics business, and was a member of the PMI's (Project Management Institute’s) Global Executive Council for two years. Denis now spends his days helping others understand complex business topics.

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