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Great communication is one of the most important skills, if not the most important skill, a project manager can possess. I make this statement based on my experience in account and project management roles with different advertising/marketing agencies in Michigan and Colorado. These agencies differed in number of employees, service offerings and whether there were separate account and project management teams, or if the same person filled both roles because the agency structure didn’t have that level of separation. They even differed in how much humidity was in the air. One thing remained consistent—you were successful if you knew how to be a great communicator.
While there are multiple ways to communicate in this fast-paced technological world like email, chat and texting to name a few—it’s important to know how and when to use those channels and when to go old school and talk to someone face to face. There’s something refreshing about a personal conversation after interacting with a computer all day. Yes, there are the kick-off meetings at the beginning of a project where people converse, but I’m talking about the internal communication needed after those meetings and in-between the rest of the scheduled meetings throughout the project process. I think the personal interaction tends to keep everyone honest and helps to eliminate assumed tonality and lack of detail you can’t necessarily put into words with electronic forms of communication, which could have a negative effect on a project and derail productivity. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always a good idea to have the communication trail documented so you have something to reference if that time comes. Personal conversations always help to get things figured out more quickly and efficiently, especially when there is food involved.
A great project manager is truly the glue that holds everything together and keeps a project moving forward. They are always adaptable to changing situations and know how to communicate properly, regardless of the situation, to make sure things are being conveyed properly and in a timely manner. A great project manager will also know how to tailor their communication styles to each type of role involved with the project to keep everyone motivated and not come off as a dictator.