There are several characteristics that make a great project manager, but there’s one trait they all have in common: they’re good communicators. For some, it comes naturally. For others, it requires effort and practice.

Project managers need to be able to effectively communicate with their team to achieve the best end product for the company.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common communication challenges project managers face and what they can do to overcome them.

Expectation setting

Project managers are tasked with ensuring everyone is on the same page. For many projects, this starts with setting expectations. Project duration, project costs, project scope, project deliverables and project personnel all need to be clearly communicated with your internal team and client.

It’s best practice to document such details in written form—either on paper or digitally. Once they’re documented, it’s easier to review the details on a call or in person with supervisors, customers or decision-makers to clear up any discrepancies.

Large project teams

Communicating with just one or two employees at a time already has its challenges. But if you’re required to communicate with teams that are much larger and more diverse, sending a message loud and clear can be daunting. With large teams, organization, grouping and regular check-ins are imperative.

Try organizing your team into smaller groups that gel with the overall scope of your project. In addition, grouping your team into separate email and contact groups will help you streamline your communication efforts—but that’s just half the battle. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly or daily, you must set up a regular meeting cadence that will keep your entire team looped in on specific tasks, updates and action items that pertain to their role in the project.

Small project teams

Just because there are fewer people involved with a project doesn’t mean communication is easier. Communicating with smaller sized teams is usually a more intimate experience which has its pros and cons.

In small groups, communication challenges will often arise as a result of the unique personality types involved (people hear what they want to hear, or they hear things “emotionally” rather than “rationally”).

Smaller teams also require more participatory communication. In other words, strong listening skills are as important as strong leadership and communication skills.

Similarly to managing larger teams and projects, frequent check-ins are a great way to overcome communication barriers. The benefit of having a smaller team is that it’s much easier to hold regular one-on-one meetings to discuss what’s working and what’s not. This will ultimately help the team as a whole move forward and communicate better with you and each other.

Staying in the know with ExakTime Mobile

From avoiding last minute surprises to providing real-time project updates, our mobile time clock app helps project managers keep their team in the know. ExakTime Mobile provides an easy-to-use digital platform for efficient, proactive project management.

For more information about our time tracking solutions, contact us today.