What separates a good project manager from a brilliant project manager? The answer is quite simple: brilliant project managers don’t just have capabilities and technical knowledge, they are also quite adept with how to communicate with their teams at different levels.

Effective project managers have the essential traits of being focused, confident, practical, and trustworthy. Communication, internal and external, plays a key role in delivering a successful project. Project managers can adopt the following 7 key communication tactics to take their communication level to the next level!

1. Be an active listener

Whether you’re interacting with your team, stakeholders or clients, it is vital to be an ‘active listener’. And who is an active listener? A person who confirms that they have received the message through questions, feedback, and clarifications.

2. Define clear priorities

It is critical for a project manager to be able to communicate the strategy to his/her team in a clear and effective manner. This typically involves setting goals, creating plans, and establishing priorities. These are the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ aspects of a project. It is crucial for all team members to have a clear understanding of the final goal as well as of even the smaller technical priorities. The idea behind defining priorities is to bring all team members on the same page.

3. Transparency in communication

Teams want to work with a project leader who they can trust. They should not suspect any hidden agendas when you communicate with them. Similarly, there shouldn’t be any guesswork or ‘read between the lines’ situations in your communication. So unless there is a confidentiality factor involved in communicating a piece of information, be absolutely transparent and honest with your team.

4. Encourage collaboration

One of the most important responsibilities of a project manager is to build a collaborative working environment for the team members. Team members should encourage and support each other instead of just keeping the focus on their individual activities and responsibilities. There are greater cooperation and sharing of information in a collaborative environment.

5. Consider using non-verbal communication too

Research on communication and human behavior suggests that nearly 55 percent of all communication is actually non-verbal. Try and use hand gestures, facial expressions, and your overall body language to communicate more effectively with your team. For instance, patting a team member’s shoulder or shaking their hand is a good way of showing appreciation for their hard work.

6. Have a friendly and respectful attitude

While project managers need to communicate with their team members in a clear and precise manner, it is also necessary to demonstrate a friendly and respectful attitude towards the team members. Give them the opportunity and space to contribute their ideas and opinions so that they feel included in different aspects of the project.

7. Communicate the company’s vision

When you talk about the bigger or final vision of the organization with the team members, it helps to understand how the project is aligned with the overall objectives of the business. This can make a significant impact on the effectiveness and success of a project.