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Give the Gift of Communications

I’m really disappointed that, for the second week in a row, a key communications meeting was canceled.  Though I review the slide deck hours before the meeting, I look forward to the interaction with everyone.  I’m sure some across the table from me don’t agree.  Some may be relieved they don’t need to look me in the eye and answer questions from me or my colleagues.  Unfortunately, regardless if it temporarily relieves their anxiety, it just complicates matters in the long run.  You can’t get all of the information you need from a PowerPoint slide deck.  You need to read body language and engage with people.  In an age of PowerPoint slide decks, conference calls, and Go-To-Meetings, there is still a need to interact with people one-on-one.

Do you want a better relationship with a customer, vendor, or colleague?  Then talk to them!  Get your butt out of that chair, walk down the hall, drive across town, and engage them.  Though you may actually have a need to talk to them about a given subject, take a moment and try to interact with them on some topic other than business.  We’re all human.  Reach out and communicate!

My analogy is like bringing your wife (or loved-one) flowers (or some other gift).  Don’t bring do it because of a birthday, an anniversary, or some other holiday.  They expect that.  Bring the gift because it’s Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or because you thought of something that reminded you of them.  Now, realize that gift is communication.

image by lrargerich

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

6 Responses to “Give the Gift of Communications”

  1. March 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Bang on, smack on point. Communication is the fundamental force that drives projects. It makes me crazy when communications meetings are the first to be scrapped because folks are too busy. I find it so ironic because work winds up getting wasted, duplicated or done the wrong way because the people doing the work didn’t know about a change…that they would have found out about in the meeting they were too busy to attend!
    .-= Geoff Crane´s last blog ..Twitterview with Jhaymee Wilson =-.

    • Derek Huether
      March 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks Geoff! What’s going to happen now is a fragmented series of emails is going to go out, with a fragmented series of responses. Decisions will be made by some and others will be asking how it came to pass. It is a tragedy when people think the only transfer of information takes place during these meetings. What I experience, is more informal communications before and after the meetings results in more understanding and progress. All people should really need is the opportunity to interact and communicate…and they should take it.

      • March 10, 2010 at 12:58 am

        What I’ve done in the past is to get my company to cough up a little gas money and I drive back and forth if I need to speak with or meet team members or stakeholders. One project I’m thinking about in particular where there were more bodies on that project than there were pills in my Xanax bottle. LOL

        I’d drive to one place, meet, make deals, negotiate, book it over to another, relay what I’d just learned / done, cut another deal, boot over to the next place, and so on. Just before day-end I’d grab my staff, wrangle them into a room and fill them in on the latest, and my decisions regarding tomorrow’s plan.

        It meant I was pretty tired at the end of the day, but it was a super fast and efficient way to deliver all the information that was constantly changing. It meant everyone was fully up to speed on the latest developments, which I look at as one of the most important jobs of any PM.

        It also meant I didn’t have to read so many e-mails. LOL
        .-= Geoff Crane´s last blog ..Twitterview with Jhaymee Wilson =-.

  2. March 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Bang on, smack on point. Communication is the fundamental force that drives projects. It makes me crazy when communications meetings are the first to be scrapped because folks are too busy. I find it so ironic because work winds up getting wasted, duplicated or done the wrong way because the people doing the work didn’t know about a change…that they would have found out about in the meeting they were too busy to attend!
    .-= Geoff Crane´s last blog ..Twitterview with Jhaymee Wilson =-.

    • Derek Huether
      March 9, 2010 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Geoff! What’s going to happen now is a fragmented series of emails is going to go out, with a fragmented series of responses. Decisions will be made by some and others will be asking how it came to pass. It is a tragedy when people think the only transfer of information takes place during these meetings. What I experience, is more informal communications before and after the meetings results in more understanding and progress. All people should really need is the opportunity to interact and communicate…and they should take it.

      • March 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm

        What I’ve done in the past is to get my company to cough up a little gas money and I drive back and forth if I need to speak with or meet team members or stakeholders. One project I’m thinking about in particular where there were more bodies on that project than there were pills in my Xanax bottle. LOL

        I’d drive to one place, meet, make deals, negotiate, book it over to another, relay what I’d just learned / done, cut another deal, boot over to the next place, and so on. Just before day-end I’d grab my staff, wrangle them into a room and fill them in on the latest, and my decisions regarding tomorrow’s plan.

        It meant I was pretty tired at the end of the day, but it was a super fast and efficient way to deliver all the information that was constantly changing. It meant everyone was fully up to speed on the latest developments, which I look at as one of the most important jobs of any PM.

        It also meant I didn’t have to read so many e-mails. LOL
        .-= Geoff Crane´s last blog ..Twitterview with Jhaymee Wilson =-.

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