We hear it every day, and generally from everyone; communication is key! It’s almost a cliche at this point yet it remains universal, especially in technology.

The more complex your projects become the more important the communication within the team and across teams becomes. After all, we all hate repeating the same meeting to “get everyone on the same page” and to “sync up” don’t we?

That being said, never forget the basic tenets of communication if you want to be taken seriously and actually get your message across effectively. Below are some examples along with real life anecdotes and mistakes I have made to illustrate them.

  1. Language is important!
    1. Avoid contractions
    2. punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation mark
    3. skip the preposition(s) for a more articulate term/phrase.
  2. Be formal in your message when the content is of an official nature. Do not use SMS speak when emailing leaders about project requirements, timelines, status updates, etc.
  3. Do not assume your stakeholders/customers will assume the best. Even if you have nothing concrete to update, send an email saying “we have nothing new to update, but are still working.”
  4. When a meeting cannot be avoided, articulate a clear agenda, and then stick to it. Whomever calls for the meeting should usually be responsible for that.
  5. If you have a “water cooler” chat, follow it up with an email including all the involved parties.
  6. Always be honest, even if the information is hard to say or hear.