Five Traits of Good Communicators
By Woody Walker
Communication is something we do all day long and is one of the most important things we do as Project Managers and as people. We communicate with a variety of stakeholders every day – from our executive project sponsors to our project teams to other Project Managers. How do we become better communicators and better listeners? Here are some traits of good communicators – how many of these do you have?
- They have a sense of humor and like to laugh
Good communicators enjoy a good chuckle even when the joke is on them. They also enjoy making others laugh. Communicate with some humor when appropriate, it breaks the ice and allows you to connect with others.
They empathize with others and try to see things in a different view.
Good Communicators try to relate to what you are saying and put themselves in your place. The people we most enjoy speaking with us are the ones that we believe understand us.
They are curious and they ask a lot of questions.
Good communicators ask “why?”. They want to know more and that leads to a more thorough understanding either of the subject you are communicating about OR the person you are conversing with. Either way, it’s a positive trait for communicators!
They are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do.
Nothing is more exciting to listen to then someone who is passionate about their craft OR passionate about what you are saying. That enthusiasm is infectious and will engage others in what you have to say or vice versa – engage you in listening actively to what others have to say.
They are genuinely interested in people and what they think, feel and do.
If you are interested in what the person you are communicating with has to say – it will show in your body language and your eye contact. This interest allows us to be better listeners and better listeners make better communicators.
In summary, the skill of communicating is an essential part of a Project Manager’s job and these traits will allow you to be a more effective listener and communicator whether communicating with your sponsor, your team or your co-workers!
Woody Walke is a Senior Director – Project Management Office at Ciber North America. Ciber helps clients solve problems and grow by driving tangible business results from their technology investments.