In a recent survey project managers were asked what single skill contributes most to the success of a project manager. The overwhelming response was fairly obvious but we believe there is an insight within these results that deserves further consideration.
- Communications Skills – 59%
- Human Resources Skills – 1%
- Technical Skills – 1%
- Problem Solving Skills – 27%
- Calm Under Pressure – 12%
We didn’t really need to do a survey to determine that communication is the biggest contributor to the success of any endeavor where people are working together towards a common goal? We just like surveys because they are cool! I think we would all agree that communications is critically important to every aspect of our lives including family, friends, work and anywhere else that you interact with people. If you could hone in on the primary cause of most if not all of the failures in life including failed projects, lost sales, divorces, broken family and friend relationships, etc. you would see that a communications failure is the culprit.
When it comes to projects, sales or other business operational areas meetings are a primary means of fostering and supporting communications. Meetings are used to share status and other information, brainstorm ideas, make decisions, gather requirements or close a sale. All of these functions are types of communication. To ensure that the communication is clear, concise, targeted, captured and acted on in a timely manner organizations must have a system for planning, executing and following-up on the various types of meetings that happen each and every day. I think that last statement deserves to be repeated. Meetings must be planned, executed and followed up on in a timely and thorough manner. The inefficiencies introduced during each and every bad meeting that takes place compound over time and lead to failure. Don’t let another meeting happen without ensuring that you have a system that will ensure that the meeting delivers the communications required to move your initiative forward in the most efficient manner possible. Put an end to the slow bleeding process that leads to so many failed initiatives and regain valuable time and team morale that can be deployed for more productive endeavors. Stop settling for the status quo and Master Your Meetings!