How to communicate efficiently in a business environment.

Examples of Poor Project Management - Mistaking E-mail for Communication

One of the mistakes I have encountered reasonably often in projects is with people (both managers and resources) mistaking e-mail for actual communication. After sending an e-mail, people assume many things, including that: it is read in a timely fashion, the message is understood by the receiver(s), it is enough to generate the action/result desired by the sender. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and overusing e-mail instead of more effective communication mediums (face to face, video-conference, phone or chat), easily generates problems in projects: people not taking action on time, people completing wrong or incomplete deliverables, messages being forwarded to the wrong audience and generating conflicts, etc. In this article I would like to cover why people tend to overuse e-mail, the problems encountered with this communication medium and how to figure out by yourself when you should not use e-mail but a more effective communication medium.

Reviewing Resonate, Nancy Duarte’s Second Book on Presentation Development

Resonate, by Nancy Duarte, is the latest in a series of great books about how to deliver great presentations, released in recent years. It was published in the second half of 2010 and with the help of Nancy’s team, I managed to get my hands on a free review copy. It took me a while to find the time to start reading it but, once found, it turned out to be a great & fast read. Once you start it, it is hard to let it go. To find out why, check out this review.

Examples of Poor Project Management - Overusing Positive Words

Have you ever encountered project managers or peers, abusing positive words such as: brilliant, great, super or even awesome? Unfortunately I did encounter them in quite a number of occasions. Also, at some point in my project management career, I was guilty of overusing such words for a period of time. Once I managed to internalize the effect this behavior had on the effectiveness of the project and the project team, I stopped and changed my approach. In this article I would like to discuss why project managers overuse positive words, the negative effects of this behavior and what we could do to identify whether we have this weakness in our project management approach.

Reviewing slide:ology - How to create slides which connect you to your audience

In my quest for learning how to create great presentations, I've stumbled upon "slide:ology - The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations", a book created by Nancy Duarte and published by O'Reilly in the summer of 2008. Unlike other books which generally teach basic ideas or concepts for making presentations, "slide:ology" gets down to the dirty little details of how to actually create great slides which help you communicate and connect to your audience. Read this review to find out if it actually manages to help people become better at making slides.

5 Reasons Why Project Managers Should Use Facebook

I would like to continue the discussion started by Richard Newton on the challenge of managing offshore suppliers and talk about facebook and how to use it to manage your projects. After delivering several projects with only virtual teams, I've learned that facebook can be quite a useful tool, which helps you build relationships and know more about your project team and how to manage it. In this article I will explain what I think on this subject and share 5 reasons why project managers should use facebook.

Communicating Data in a Visual Way

powerpoint logoAll people work with data every day. The only difference is that we work with different types of data depending on the jobs we have. Data is always one of the main inputs companies, departments, project teams use in order to make decisions. Therefore, knowing how to communicate data in a visual way is very important to being successful. Once I have realized this, I started reading a lot on the topic and making experiments so that I can become better at it. With time, I managed to develop a system which works for me. In this post I will be sharing it with you so that you can use it & customize it to your style.

Measure the Readability of Your Documents and E-mails

One of the things I have learned very quickly as a project manager is that, what cannot be measured cannot be improved. Since most of my time is spent communicating with all the people involved in my projects via e-mail messages, documents and presentations, my question was: "How to measure the readability of my daily communication in order for me to improve it?". After a bit of digging on the internet I have found that the answer is quite simple. You configure Microsoft Office to check it automatically using measures such as: the Passive Sentences Test, Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. In this article I will show you what these measures are, why they are useful and how to enable them in Microsoft Office 2007.


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