Communication Tips for Project Team Members

Subject: Communication Tips for Project Team Members
From: "Karen E. Black" <kblack_text -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 14:35:54 -0400

Due to a recent blowup over the progress of software testing and someone stepping on a few toes while going over people's heads (forgive the hashed metaphor -- O. Henry), I am adding to our defect tracking procedures document some advice on communication among team members. I did some research and found a number of sites that offer tips on communication:

For relatives of mentally ill people: "A loud voice, an insistent manner, making accusations and criticisms are painfully defeating for anyone who has suffered a mental breakdown" -- applies in this situation.

For couples: "Simply making a request and focusing on what you want to happen, instead of what is wrong or not happening, and negotiating a ?win-win? outcome, will effectively prevent or resolve conflict" -- applies.

For hearing impaired people: "Assert yourself in the various listening situations and do what you need to do - such as asking people to repeat or clarify information. Always try to face the speaker, stand away from noise, and use as many visual cues as possible" -- applies.

I've looked in my books (like Wiegers, McConnell, Hackos) and can't find much. I've taken seminars in Dealing With Difficult People, Alternate Dispute Resolution, and Team Building, and I have written a couple of paragraphs on the value of the down-and-dirty face-to-face method (as opposed to phone calls, meetings, and e-mails).

Can anybody offer some serious, or tongue-in-cheek, or tongue-in-ear suggestions for improving communication among project team members?

Thanks in advance. Let me know if you want attribution.

Karen Black in Toronto, was on holiday when the blowup happened and has mixed feelings about missing it all

Is fearr socrú dá dhonacht ná dlí dá fheabhas.
It's better to solve the problem than to improve the law.

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