Singapore, 5th August 2014
It is not a secret that in our line of work, communication is key. There are many ways to communicate and there is a very obvious difference between the written and spoken words. We have several projects on the go where communication, let alone coordination is lacking from all sides, not in the least because the clients are aloof or not understanding of the importance of clarity and direction. One such clients has the financial means, the political power to make things happen and has appointed a professional consultants team that should be able to handle any problem. How different reality is.
First of all the project managers that represent the client have to report to a board of directors and whatever they present, put forward and is agreed is a “set in stone” directive for the team. The unfortunate thing however is that the information provided to them is flawed and full of holes. This is due to poor communication, poor administrative management and plainly said poor understanding of the key issues of the project. So with a mid-cadre management that is scared of what their “bosses” say, they deflect every responsibility to the project team and hide behind the “bosses” directives which they created in the first place.
The poor project team manager is sandwiched between the clients’ management team on one site and the consultants’ team on the other side who scream fire and murder because their professional recommendations and experience is hardly acknowledged through poor board room decisions. That leaves both sides frustrated and stressed.
The communication by email therefore becomes extremely protective and accusatory as everybody from both sides wants to make sure they don’t end up with the hot potato so to speak! When you however pick up the phone as I decided to do today to diffuse tensions, you find that the other party is actually thinking along the same lines with similar frustrations and that simply talking it through eases the way to compromise and solution. In the end we all need to bring tis to a good end and sometimes picking up the phone and have a chat, is all what is needed…
Light watch 5-129: A great way to “communicate” is through the use of colours and many architectural designs use colour as a way of expression. Of course colours without light do not exist!