project manager | civil engineer
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the majority of communication has progressed into being over phone or video call. This has meant having to hone my skills to ensure the effective communication of a clear and concise message.
Using Expo 2020 Dubai as an example - there are thousands of people who work on the programme and there are many interfacing projects and departments who all need to work together to be successful. Communication has been a skill that I have had to draw upon many times, not only to manage my contractors and engineering team, but also to interface effectively with the stakeholder and third parties who have a vested interest in the outcome of the projects.
Examples of stakeholders
The client - Expo 2020 project managers, architects and higher management.
The participants in their respective countries
Adjacent projects – some managed by the PMC, others managed by participating countries.
Expo 2020 departments – Health and safety, logistics, facility management, landlord, events and operations,
I have spoken in other pages about always developing your transferable skills as well as your technical skills. One of the most important skills you can continually develop is communication and the ability to adapt your communication style to suit your audience.
We all know that communication is a key skill to develop for any job. I realised this more than ever whilst working at Expo 2020 Dubai. Not only have I been working with a huge mix of different people and cultures, but I have had numerous interfaces with international participants, all eager to ensure that their pavilion is ready and looking amazing. Being able to adapt your communication style to people with differing technical abilities, different ages, different cultures and who speak different languages, is vitally important to ensure you are the best project manager you can be.
Types of communication
This is the most obvious type of communication but one that has changed so much during the pandemic. With most of us now carrying out meetings online, the spoken word has the potential to come across differently and it’s important to adapt as required.
Non Verbal Communication
Non verbal communication is so important and includes facial expressions, mannerisms and even your posture and the way you hold yourself. You can give of feelings of genuineness or falsity without even saying a word.
This is key especially in today's online meeting culture where you can chose to have your video on or off. If it is on – be aware of the message you are giving across by your non-verbal communication.
Visual communications have been increasingly important since moving abroad and mixing which a plethora of people, nationalities and cultures, many of whom do not have English as a first language, or even speak it at all. If you’re struggling to get a point across, then would a visual aid help? A picture can say a thousand words.