The importance of communication is often forgotten in the pressure and stress of project delivery. From our experience, harnessing the contributions of those around the project with a series of clear, concise and well-timed communications is often the key to successfully delivering any form of change. So, if it’s so important then how can we improve it even further? We asked our consultants to suggest some more tips for communicating in a project environment:
Your messages should come from the top
Get C-suite buy in early in the process. The senior executives within the organisation need to be the biggest advocates of change to make it happen. They need to live, breathe and communicate the change and become the early adopters.
Make sure everyone has a voice
Remember that those ‘doing the doing’ are just as important as those doing the thinking. They will often be impacted the most and could cause the most disruption. So, it’s important to identify these individuals and get their views early to ensure that their voices are heard.
Keep it simple
Keep key messaging memorable and digestible. People remember things in 3s and 5s so think about that when constructing key change communications.
The language of change
Establish some common terminology for your change advocates to use. Discretely embedding language that supports the change into the organisation’s lexicon is an easy way of softly spreading the word (without people even noticing)!
Think bite-sized chunks
Remember that not everyone works at the same pace. Sometimes it’s better to drip-feed information through different communication channels, so people have enough notice about upcoming change and get used to what it means for them gradually.
“Would you like a coffee and a catch-up?”
Not all communication needs to be formal. The occasional chat over a coffee can often get the most traction. Encourage your change advocates to take opportunities to chat about change whenever, and wherever, they feel appropriate.
Don’t be afraid to get excited
Spread your enthusiasm. It is difficult to frown when faced with a smile, so take that thought and beam your way through your change programme.
Shout about the good stuff
Boost the existing culture by praising people for the things they do well and reassure them that those things will create a good base for change. Praise generates energy, and a lot of that will be needed to make change happen!