Consistency and What Others Hear

Is Your Message Consistent? What do People Hear?

Our people, our project teams and the broader community of stakeholders, derive a message from what we communicate. We are always conveying a message – intended or not – by what we communicate. So, here is the big question. What do we think we are saying? What do they actually hear? And is our message consistent?
Let’s think about this. Our messaging is comprised of three elements.

– Formal documentation and record-keeping – Current and archival records documenting the project
– Regular intervals of formal communication – Verbal and written content of our status meetings and updates
– Informal day-to-day interactions – The everyday interactions with others in project life

Does the formal, written record comport with my regular intervals communicating status? And do these all agree with my informal conversations with others? All others? (Now, think this through. Your message carries. So, again I ask. ALL others?) Here is a most important point. Consistency across all channels of our communication conveys confidence to the broader stakeholder community.

Now let’s couple this consistent messaging with an atmosphere where the project manager/leader is always casting a fresh vision and enthusiasm for the project’s mission; where the team openly discusses any challenges that the project is facing. In this climate difficulties become windows of opportunity, turning points in strategic thinking, and moments of breakthrough results.

Now the question comes back to us. What are we communicating? What are we saying and what are others hearing? We must be consistent, honest, and authentic at all times. In this atmosphere the team and other stakeholders will learn to deeply trust us.

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