To Communicate Or Not To Communicate – It is your Choice


Yes. Whether ‘To communicate’ with someone about something OR ‘Not To Communicate’ is your choice. Mindset – The factor that really decides the choice we choose at a given point of time.

Mindset is nothing but ‘Set Mind’. Our brain has a wonderful ability to train and make decisions based on prior experiences. From birth our mind forms cognitive patterns based on information consumed through sensory organs. All those forms of communication signals is then converted into ideas and stored. This process happens every second and even in this process every human develops unique idea about communication & its components also. Everyone of us have our own definition for questions like – what is good communication? what is bad communication? who are all good/bad communicator in my scale? Whom I want to show as my examples? etc.

We show our idea about communication in every communication opportunity we encounter and even train (or fine tune) our ideas based on outcome of current opportunity. At one point of time in life, when we learn our communication is bad, we don’t really take the comments as it is. We try to defend with all our reasoning which I listed earlier post under myths & reasons that ruin communication development.

By the way, removing all negative reasoning in mind with positive reasons in one complete stretch is not possible – but it is possible in step-by-step way. Training of ones own mind & forming an idea (or pattern) requires long time, but once idea formed it is really long time to break that out. That’s why mindset can be termed as ‘Set Mind’.

Getting proper mindset is essential for communication. Now, the main question from you is “So what do you want me to do now?” Here I give just 4 pointers.

1. Rewrite your definition of communication in mind – To rewrite definition of communication, first you need to recollect what do you think about communication, purpose of communication, good and bad communications, different situations you come across in life, outcome of communication opportunity, your fears, your earlier victories, whom do you think good communicator and why. After recollection, write down which are all thing you do different from what you think as good communication – in this step try not to satisfy your mind by giving some reasoning for the deviation between what you think good and what you did as it may take you back to old state only. Remove the myths and restating the purpose of communication often will make the whole process of easing your set mind.

2. Work on deviations – What are you deviations? To you what you want to achieve and what you are currently doing. Main item here are – stage fear and fear due to status difference between you and people whom you like to interact. Most of the self help book on communication talks about it & most of its content deals around anyone of this – rehearsal, boosting confidence by seeing yourself in mirror, correct outfit, eye contact, body language (non verbal), making impact using different tones & powerful words (verbal), don’t be anxious, etc.

3. Make a best choice & right choice – One of the outcome of communication is ‘relationship’. Basic necessity of human race is living in a community which has foundation as good relationship with others. So making right & best choice in every communication opportunity is very important. Communication is like a two-sided sword. Balancing your communication at a given situation is very important to increase your success. Many time our choice not to communicate causes misunderstanding & even spoiled a great opportunity. On the other side, over communicating also create issues. One needs to know when to start when to stop – what to share what not to share. All these comes through experience and need to be consciously controlled by mind.

4. Don’t stop, repeat – If you felt your choice in previous opportunity was bad, don’t stop and stamp yourself as ‘Bad Communicator of the world’. Just go back to step 1 and rewrite your definition once again – work on your difference. Okay – if you felt your choice in previous opportunity is good, don’t stop there you need to repeat the same thing again and again in every opportunity as it gives you right result.

Getting better with Communication


I stopped with a question in last blog post – How can we get strong communication skills?

To analyze further, let us first take a look at general definition of communication:

Definition of Communication: Exchange of information.

Exchange of information has two folds 1) information exchange within the mind (biologically saying inside brain) – i.e. gathering information, selection/rejection of ideas, words, structuring, processing emotions – 2) delivering information to external world. If the first one happens properly then second one also happens without any issue.

Every human processes outside information through 5 major sensory organs. Even internal organs sends information to brain through nervous systems that’s why we feel hunger, pain, sleepiness, etc. Whether you like it or not, brain does information processing throughout the life without any rest. In a day, one needs to talk to himself entire 24 hours & every second. Before delivery of information to external world, brain processes, structures and ques understandable sentences. While you are delivering processed information, brain didn’t stop – it does background processing of some more information or prepares next topic and stack it in the que for delivery. So, it is very important how you process information & what do you think about communication in your mind. Here are few factors that ruin communication skill development:

1. ‘Stranger’ factor – Most of the situations, you may be a stranger in the crowd – you may know one or two people & always try to keep your communication with those whom you know much. You may not approach others because you tend to think that “if I communicate my idea in this group, what do they think about me? Will they not think I am a new person and don’t have any say on this?”. One needs to come out of this cause to excel in communication skill.

2. ‘All those around me know more than what I know’ factor – This factor affects most juniors in organizations. As I mentioned earlier, goal of communication is to clarify or make others know you understood certain things, so one should remove this factor in mind to achieve the goal of communication.

3. ‘Earlier communication was bad’ factor – Whatever be the reason for your previous bad communication, every communication opportunity is new and unique as it happens in completely in different situations (may be with new set of people). If one keep on thinking about earlier bad communication and stay quite then communication skill will never get better. Here I like to share my experience on this factor. Four years back, after writing first few posts in this blog, I got feedback on my poor language handling in those articles. I felt very bad about my communication & even I thought of closing the blog, but I decided to take it as challenge & wanted to improve my communication skill – I posted regular posts and improved it to certain level. Now I reached 148 posts.

Communication is 80% mind (i.e. brain) related and 20% external delivery process. First step towards improving communication skill is to train your brain for better. Let us check how to develop proper mindset for stronger communication in next article post.

Communication – Is it tough skill? or an easy one?


My answer to the title question is – “Communication is a wonder skill that become tough or easy based on ones’ mindset.”

I mentioned Communication as ‘Wonder Skill’ as it brings wonder into the life. Excellent communication makes life brighter and more successful & in the downside, poor communication takes life to lowest point. I heard a lot of myths around communication and developing the skill. Myths are belief that strongly formed an image about something and breaking it is bit hard. To learn communication skill one need to come out of these myths. Here are the popular ones:

1. Communication is meant only for career: Communication is a human skill (even I can say every living creatures in earth has it) and we should not restrict only for career. Communication skill is required every second and every activity we perform.

2. Communication is just about talking to someone: Most of the time, communication synonymous to oral communication like speeches, presentations, discussions, etc. but communication is beyond just oral form. Writing, body language also constitutes communication.

3. To be good in Communication skill I need to know lot of hard words: This myth is a powerful one and most of the believers are well-educated ones. Hard words will make the communication more harder  & difficult to understand. Goal of communication is (and not limited to) i) asking/answering questions to gaining/impart knowledge ii) providing/gaining clarity on items iii) delivering/receiving information related to areas of interest.

Though millions of books, seminars, coaching classes available on communication, still many of us lack communication skill even after going through those. What is stopping us from taking a leap and achieving our life goals? How can we get strong communication skills?

I answer these questions in my next blog post.

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group Process – Report Performance – Mind Map


Performance reports are key output for a project in which periodic collection and analysis of expected Vs. actual data is conducted. Report performance is used to communicate the project progress throughout the entire project life cycle to ensure the information needs of project stakeholders are met. Report performance is having tight bonding with Integration Knowledge Area to make sure project is moving in a direction towards achieving its goals.

Develop Project Management Plan  –> Project Management Plan –-> Input to Report Performance

Direct and Manage Project Execution –-> Work Performance Information –-> Input to Report Performance

Monitor and Control Project Work <— Performance Reports <— Output from Report Performance

Perform Integrated Change Control <— Change Requests <— Output from Report Performance

Control scope, cost, schedule – all will give work performance measurements as inputs to performance report. Also, performance reports are important input in managing project team & distributing information regarding project progress. Performance reports vary the level of its detail based on the audience from a simple status report to more elaborate reports with forecasts and risks for upper management.

Report performance is part of Communications Knowledge Area. As usual, I tried putting as much information as possible in each branch in this process map to bring out completeness to it. Hope this will be useful to you.

Report Performance

Important Note:

* Note# 1: There could be some typo or presentation errors. Please reply back for any corrections.

* Note# 2: You can use this for personal use (like studying for PMP Exam or PM activities). But don’t share this in common forum or web sites. As this one is part of my training guide and project management book.

Executing Process Group Process – Manage Stakeholder Expectations


This is another process in Executing Process Group. Below is Inputs, Tools & Techniques and Outputs Mind Map for Manage Stakeholder Expectations which is classified under Communications Management Knowledge Area.

 Manage Stakeholder Expectations 

Important Note:

* Note# 1: There could be some typo or presentation errors. Please reply back for any corrections.

* Note# 2: You can use this for personal use (like studying for PMP Exam or PM activities). But don’t share this in common forum or web sites. As this one is part of my training guide and project management book.

Executing Process Group Process – Distribute Information


This is another process in Executing Process Group. Below is Inputs, Tools & Techniques and Outputs Mind Map for Distribute Information which is classified under Communications Management Knowledge Area.

Distribute Information

Important Note:

* Note# 1: There could be some typo or presentation errors. Please reply back for any corrections.

* Note# 2: You can use this for personal use (like studying for PMP Exam or PM activities). But don’t share this in common forum or web sites. As this one is part of my training guide and project management book.

Communications Requirements Analysis


Effective & efficient communication planning is important for project’s success & its vitality can not be overstressed as considerable number of projects failed due to poor communication plan & process.

Effective communication – providing the information in the right format, at the right time, and with the right impact.

Efficient communication – providing only the information that is needed.

A crucial element of planning the project’s actual communications, therefore, is to determine and limit who will communicate with whom and who will receive what information. Thorough analysis of communication need is the first step towards better communication planning.

Communications Requirements Analysis

Objective of this tool/technique: determining information needs of the project stakeholders

It is defined by: Type, format & value of information needed

It uses:

* Stakeholder information (like stakeholder register, stakeholder management strategy)

* Roles & responsibilities of project team, internal/external stakeholders & management

* Organization Chart

* Information on the stakeholders’ location (helpful in determining communication technology/methods)

Communication channels : Communication channels are the distinct paths of communication that is possible between project stakeholders for information distribution path. Knowing complexity of communication channel gives a better control over information distribution & hence better communication planning.

The total number of potential communication channels is n(n-1)/2

where n represents the number of stakeholders.

Communication Channel

So, higher the number of stakeholders, more complex the communication channels are.