Project/Team Communication: Make Every Word Count

July 19, 2011 at 9:31 am 6 comments


Featured Guest Blogger: Anthony Fasano, P.E., LEED AP, ACC
Civil Engineer, Author, Coach and Speaker
Author of Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career (Available in May 2011)
Anthony is also the author of a FREE e-mail service for engineers called A Daily Boost from Your Professional Partner. Click here to read about this service.

Engineer Your Own Success, by Anthony Fasano, PE

This post is an excerpt from Anthony Fasano’s new book Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career.  Anthony is a design engineer turned executive coach, speaker and author and now spends his time helping engineers around the world to create careers that are exciting, enjoyable, and rewarding while being well-balanced. In this post Anthony provides strategies for effective project communication in today’s fast-paced world.

In some respects, technology has made it more of a challenge to communicate with your colleagues or at least keep the communication consistent. By colleagues I am referring to your co-workers as well as other consultants that you may work with on a project team.

The key to communicating in today’s world is to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Whether you decide to use the phone, email, or any other type of web application is not the most relevant factor. It’s important that you keep everybody up-to-date on what’s going on with the project, as failure to do so can negatively impact its success, the cohesiveness of your team, and most importantly your relationship with your clients. For example, how do you think one of your clients would feel if you called them asking the same question that another team member had just emailed them about 30 minutes earlier? Your client is going to feel like their time is being wasted and he or she is going to see first hand that your team is not coordinated, both of which may jeopardize your relationship with the client as well as their impression of you and your employer.

To avoid this type of communication mix-up, you must have some kind of system in place that makes it easy to keep everyone up-to-date in real time. Perhaps set up a company policy in which one team member is designated to handle all e-mail correspondence with the client. Another option may be to have a project specific website or e-mail account where everyone can see exactly what’s going on, again in real time. Having a good system in place could mean the difference between completing a so-so project or a great one.

In conclusion, be sure that when you work with a team, you establish clear communication guidelines as early as possible on the project. Communication (especially on a team) is crucial because the lack thereof will lead to conflict, which can affect the quality of their work and really put a damper not only on the project but your career as a whole. When people don’t communicate with each other, they start to make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or what actions they are going to take. These assumptions can lead to decisions that negatively impact the team, the project, and the company as a whole.

Order your copy of Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career within the next 24 hours and receive two incredible bonus gifts (FREE). Go to http://EngineerSuccessToday.com. A portion of each book sold will be donated to Engineers Without Borders.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anthony Fasano  |  September 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Antonio in chapter 4 of my book I discuss this, specifically all of the all of the different forms of communication. I think you’ll enjoy it. You can read more about the book here: http://EngineerSuccessToday.com

    Reply
  • 2. Antonio Pietrangeli - engineer  |  September 16, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I am a civil engineer specialized in dams, therefore I travel a lot around the world where the dams are buing built. Communication methods are obviously widely different changing country and even continent. However it seems to me that in recent years, thanks to internet, the way of communicating is becoming more similar first of all since we use the same tools. Being engineers we use the same software, same calculation methods, same technical approach and we all use the same e-mail.
    I would be very pleased if I could find in your book, or in other articles, a discussion on this topic. best regards

    Reply
  • 3. Anthony Fasano  |  July 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Yes adel that is a wonderful point and I discuss that in Chapter 4 of the book, in fact I discussed it in paragraph 3 in this post. In companies or within projects, you need to be clear with other team members what form of communication you will all be using. If you want to discuss further, feel free to e-mail me at afasano@powerfulpurpose.com. Thanks for the feedback!

    Reply
  • 4. adel  |  July 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Hello Mr. Fasano, I’m currently civil engineering student major. i think communication is a big issue in any job, especially civil engineering. don’t you think that communication will be the future problem since everyone is using a different method to communicate. for instance, there are people who use emails others use phone calls or face-book to communicate.

    Reply
  • 5. Anthony Fasano  |  July 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    That’s a great point Jack, English as a second language certainly holds people back and I discuss strategies for overcoming that in Chapter 4 in the book. You can’t always communicate in the co-workers language if you don’t know it, but your point is valid in that we must find ways to communicate regardless of language!

    Reply
  • 6. Jack  |  July 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Communication with peers, coworkers and clients is very important in the Engineering Profession. People fail to communicate effectively, because of diverse nationalities and languages spoken by coworkers. Moreover engineers assume that english is the only language of communication. If you communicate in the language spoken by the coworker it will have more merit and clarity. Words have different meaning in different languages!

    Reply

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