In my role as a Project Manager, I receive and think through literally thousands of details related to each of my areas of responsibility. While this is true for many people in every organization, the uniqueness of the PM role is our need to know “everything about everything” in order to coordinate smoothly with other team members.
When I talk to my teammates about the project, I am often tempted to over-communicate…to share way more information than they really want to hear.
I know I am not the only one. Often, I find myself wanting to tell others “I DON’T CARE” when they tell me tons and tons of information that is beyond what I care to know. So, why do we do that to each other?
- We really enjoy what we do…and we want to share our interests with others (not a bad reason, but it might be wasting someone’s time)
- We think others should know more about the projects that they are participating in. After all, doesn’t everyone need more information? (The answer is often “no”)
- We want others to know that we are working hard. They may not be aware of all the important things we manage on their behalf (bad reason)
- It makes us feel more important (bad reason)
- We enjoy hearing ourselves talk (bad reason)
- We think they really want to know, and are unaware that they don’t (bad reason)
There is a magic formula to being concise and sharing the gold nuggets of information that will be “welcomed by” and “useful to” others. I haven’t conquered this yet, but I am working on it. When I do it well:
- People are deeply appreciative and are more likely to ask for my thoughts. I gain in my ability to influence the projects in which I participate
- People tend to respond by asking me questions and we engage in more thoughtful discussions. After the conversation is over, we’ve both learned more than when I used to “download” on them
- People enjoy their interactions with me more, because my hard work to “package” the information makes it easier for them to receive and learn
Thanks for listening.