The ABZ's of Communication for Technical Professionals... A: Always be Authentic

This is the 1st of my new 26 part (A through Z) blog series with Tips on Communication for Project Managers and Technical Professionals! With communication accounting for over 80% of a project manager’s time, the importance of GOOD communication cannot be overlooked.  Good projects begin with good communication!

Let’s get started:

A = Always be Authentic!

One of the biggest mistakes we make with a communications course is to blindly adopt practices and change ourselves  to fit “the mold” of a good communicator.  While there are best practices and lots of tips and techniques, the idea of one best way is pure rubbish… Think about it — you already have good communication skills that you use in other parts of your life.  New ideas and models can help hone your skills for use in your workplace.  One of the most important lessons we can learn is to always be authentic!

Choose those tips and techniques that will work for you, and tailor best practices so that they are in keeping with who you are.

Just as you can always spot a phony, so can others.  So be cautious before you adopt communication styles or techniques that don’t fit with who you are because they won’t give you the results you want!

For example, one technique that sometimes works for me (and is recommended by networking maven Susan RoAne) is to go into a mixer or networking gathering and act as if you are the host.  While this does work wonderfully in certain situations, there are group settings where I’d make a fool of myself if I attempted this. It’s all a matter of appropriateness with my personality and the situation. I encourage you to adopt new ideas that will work for you, in the situations they will work, and have the wherewithal to know when they won’t.

Always be authentic!

To your successful projects!


Carol Dekkers

For more information on northernSCOPE(TM) visit (in English pages) and for upcoming training in Tampa, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Helsinki and other locations in 2010, visit
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  1. James Hutchins  |  

    Authenticity; what a unique idea. I am reminded of the advice in Shakespeare “…to thine own self be true…”. The thought is as important down the ages of time as it is today. The corollary is know you strengths and weaknesses, if desired correct them. A second axiom within this is to remember even the experts knowledge has gaps and it is the wise specialist that works to fill those knowledge/personality gaps. As support to the 80% mentioned the project/program manager has to consider is his message clearly stating the goals, objectives and vision (strategic plan) for the project/program.
    Always, always be aware no matter how well these are stated someone is listening but not hearing. It maybe you.

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