Effective Communication and its Effect on Project Success

Effective Communication and its Effect on Project Success

Perhaps the greatest value that you can bring to your organization comes in the form of effective personal communication.  Like we have previously discussed here at GovGig, effective communication is by far the most important predictor of project success above all other variables; greater than education and experience combined.  Effective communication is vital to project success; so much so, that a lack of these vital skills will result in communication failures, which ultimately has the potential for devastating results including project delays, rework, misunderstandings and ultimately to a lack of profitability and project success.

As so eloquently stated by Forbes, “Not all good communicators can lead, but all good leaders can communicate.  Of all the skills attributed to leaders- and by which leaders are identified- communication is universally agreed upon as the most important and the most indispensable.”

As a leader in your organization, honing your communication skills is crucial. The ability to effectively communicate is even further amplified in Federal Contracting.  Strong communicators help to build trust, rapport, and respect with their project team and your client, can effectively resolve conflict, and has the ability to successfully collaborate with team members when addressing a challenging project.

The construction industry greatly values and rewards effective communicators. Consider the following tips as you strive to become an efficient project leader and communicator on your federal construction project:

1.     Embrace Active Listening:  The concept of active listening refers to full engagement with the person with whom you are communicating through focusing on the speaker with minimal interruptions, showing non-verbal cues such as nodding your head or leaning forward to show engagement, asking open-ended questions and by being patient.  “Active listening is a communication skill that involves going beyond simply hearing the words that another person speaks but also seeking to understand the meaning and intent behind them. It requires being an active participant in the communication process.” This approach allows for better communication, fosters empathy, and builds stronger relationships.

2.     Foster Transparency:  Whether the information being shared is good or bad, being transparent allows for your team to be better informed, fosters open lines of communication and encourages the sharing of ideas.  Be up front with information even if the message being shared is difficult.  Doing so will enhance the trust of your team and align your team with your project’s goals and mission.

3.     Be Clear, Concise, and Professional:  As Construction Connect suggests in their article, it is important to make every effort to have your message understood the first time you send it.  They further recommend avoiding use of jargon or terms that others may misunderstand with your message focused and to the point.  Keep it short and simple as much as possible.  Proofread all of your written messages before sending.  Lastly, always avoid using foul language or allowing your emotions to impact your message.  If emotions are running high, take a break before sending your email.

4.     Choose the Right Communication Method for the Message:  Both verbal and non-verbal communication are ways in which we universally communicate.  We hold in-person meetings, talk, text, send emails, and even use other digital methods of communication such as use of Zoom.  We also communicate data on construction sites through use of tools such as daily reports, photographs, RFIs, change orders including use of many variations of construction tools and software.  Choosing the correct type of information via the most effective medium will allow for clarity.

Once again, effective communication is the key predictor of project success.  As a Leader in your company, take the time to plan with communication in mind.  This approach will set your project up for success enabling you to coach, facilitate, communicate and lead your project team toward a safe and profitable project.

Please reach out to us here at GovGig if you would like to learn more about how we plan for our project successes with communication in mind.

Cory J. Grimmer, CSP, CHST