Have you been writing much poetry lately? Maybe not, but I bet you can really make your scope documents and your schedules into works of art. And when challenges arise, I bet you and your team find creative ways to problem solve and deliver an excellent product or service.
The above quote is the poetic way of saying what your mom might have told you. I do not know your mother, but maybe she did not speak to you in prose. Perhaps she said it this way, “Actions speak louder than words.” Mom was right.
Consider the case of “Jeffrey” the project manager (real name withheld). Jeffrey believed that strong project communication management was what made the difference between a good project experience and a great project experience. He could cite case studies which showcased project failures and how those failures came back to poor project communication management. In fact he often raised these examples during project team meetings. He loved to bring up examples of organizations he believed handled communications with excellence. He held these organizations up to the team as examples to be followed.
At first his team was caught up in his enthusiasm for communications. After all one of their most frequent issues was lack of communication from management. After about a month team members noticed a disappointing pattern. Jeffrey’s talk about excellent communications was just that – talk. The team rarely saw him between meetings. He did not share project status with them and he did not tell them what transpired in all of the meetings he attended. He seemed to be consistently behind on emails and phone calls. When team members resorted to texting him with questions or concerns, his standard reply was, “Thank you, I will get back to you.” Most were still waiting for him to get back to them.
Now the team was impatient when Jeffrey would share stories of communications wins or failures. In the past team members would ask questions and engage in the conversation about what makes communications extraordinary. They waited for him to wrap up his stories. Many stopped listening. Perhaps it is far to say that they could no longer hear him because the real Jeffrey, the one who did not represent excellence in communication was thundering behind the other Jeffrey. The true Jeffrey drowned out the other Jeffrey with his actions, which made his words impossible to hear.
Say who you are and be who you say you are.