Communication in project management:
easier said than done?

Communication is the foundation of Project Management. But, what is the ‘right’ way to communicate? Or is there even a ‘right’ way to communicate? I can tell you straight away that there is no absolute right way of communicating in project management that will be beneficial in every situation. As we know from our own experiences, whether they are personal or in the workfield, each conversation is different. According to communication theory there are many aspects connected to having a conversation. These aspects show that having a conversation is not as simple as it appears to be.  

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Cracking the Conversation Code

In each conversation there is a sender and a receiver of a message. If you are the sender you try to communicate a certain message to the receiver. If you find yourself in the position of the receiver, your task is to interpret the message received from the sender. It can be seen as cracking a code. The receiver is decoding the message from the sender. What is important in this process is that the receiver has a mutual understanding of what a sender is trying to communicate. In other words, the receiver must correctly figure out the message – it’s like cracking a code.

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However, this is sometimes not the case. It can happen that the message that is sent by the sender is misunderstood by the receiver. Furthermore, we can never know 100% certain if we have the same idea of the message that the sender is communicating to us, the receiver. 

According to the theory of Wittgenstein, a British philosopher, the mind is like a beetle in a box. You can perceive your own beetle, but not someone else’s. This idea extends to communication. As a sender, you know your message’s “beetle,” but the receiver doesn’t. So, how you describe it matters greatly. Clarity in description is key for the receiver to grasp your intended message.

Effective Marketing Communication: Tips for success

In the world of marketing we have many conversations with each other and with clients. Furthermore, in our ads we are communicating certain messages to our audiences. Open and clear communication can be difficult. Misunderstandings often occur. In this article I am going to discuss a few of these tips that can help to improve your general communication strategy:

1. Check your emails twice before sending

Often when there are misunderstandings it is caused by miscommunication. Especially when you are working in an international environment where English is not everyone’s first language. The term, lost in translation, often occurs in this type of workfield. Words or sentences can have different meanings in different mother tongues. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that whenever an email is sent it is checked twice. Once to check whether all that you want to communicate is in your email, and once to check if what you want to communicate as a project manager is actually communicated by this structure of words and sentences. By this second check most errors should be gone out of your email.

2. Quick responses increase project management efficiency

As widely recognised, communication in project management is crucial. Using tools for project management will help streamline communication and task execution, making waiting for an email response less of a bottleneck. These tools can facilitate quick and efficient collaboration, allowing you to make progress on tasks without unnecessary delays. For instance, they provide features like real-time messaging, task assignments, and progress tracking, ensuring that everyone stays on the same page. By leveraging such tools, you can significantly reduce the time spent waiting for responses and maximize productivity across your team. So remember, timely communication isn’t just about email etiquette, but also about employing the right tools to keep the workflow smooth and efficient.

3. Be as transparent as possible

Giving your client updates during the process will increase transparency. In the workfield you can’t be completely transparent when a process is still going on. However, you can give your client updates every week/month. Together with your client you can discuss what kind of approach suits you. Furthermore, whenever a client asks a question about the process try to be as transparent as possible. This can and will be beneficial for your relationship with your client. 

4. Make your client feel heard

You work closely together with your clients. In this process it is very important that the communication with you and your client is on good terms. You are providing work for your client. If the client gives your work feedback, you need to take this feedback seriously. It is important that your client feels heard. You can improve this by a quick and open response to their feedback. Honesty and open communication is key in this process. 


As the title of this article suggests: Open and clear communication in project management is key. Easier said than done? Open and clear communication is something that can be hard to fully achieve. As we have seen from the communication theories a conversation is much more than it appears to be. 

However, by following these tips, you will quickly notice that miscommunications occur less frequently, questions are answered more promptly, and communication becomes clearer. So, to conclude good communication isn’t just easier said than done, it’s something we can get better at.


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