Communication Facts

Communicating is the most important skill for the project manager. With that in mind, here are some key facts on communications:

• Communication channels formula: N(N-1)/2. N represents the number of stakeholders. For example, if you have 10 stakeholders, the formula would read 10(10-1)/2, or 45 communication channels. Pay special attention to questions wanting to know how many additional communication channels you have based on added stakeholders. For example, if you have 25 stakeholders on your project and have recently added five team members, how many additional communication channels do you now have? You'll have to calculate the original number of communication channels: 25(25-1)/2=300 and then calculate the new number with the added team members: 30(30-1)/2=435 and, finally, subtract the difference between the two: 435-300=135, which is the number of additional communication channels.

• 55 percent of communication is nonverbal.

Effective listening is the ability to watch the speaker's body language, interpret paralingual clues, and decipher facial expressions. Following the message, effective listening has the listener asking questions to achieve clarity and offering feedback.

Active listening requires receivers of the message to offer clues, such as nodding the head to indicate that they are listening. It also requires receivers to repeat the message, ask questions, and continue the discussion if clarification is needed.

• Communication can be hindered by trendy phrases, jargon, and extremely pessimistic comments. In addition, other communication barriers include noise, hostility, cultural differences, and technical interruptions.

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