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Your pile of unread messages is teetering on the verge of collapse. Your phone is blowing up. The day is packed. Finding composure in the storm is tough, but as a leader, you have no choice when communicating with your teams. Hitting the right note is a constant challenge.

Team coordination has largely shifted from direct conversations to technology. The way you communicate changes with the medium, whether Skype, texts, email, phone, or even face-to-face. The words exchanged in these dialogues matter.

As always, leaders find ways to remain cool, consistent, and positive. Clarity and accuracy are paramount. Here are some ideas to keep your words ringing true.

Proceed with Caution

Interpreting emails has become high art. Reading between the digital lines is fraught with hazard and demands extra attention. But taking extra care doesn’t have to mean taking too much extra time. Come up with some positive opening and closing lines that help you get to the point. Be concise.

Be Authentic

Even if you can’t see your team, pretend you are sitting near them when you communicate. Put yourself in their shoes. Use an informal voice, whether verbally or in writing. Your mood comes through, so watch for sarcasm or anger, even if feels like it’s just you being you. Tell your teams not to interpret brevity as annoyance or dismissal, but just that you value their time.

Listen to Yourself

Striking the right note, literally, means the way you sound when you speak. In meetings on the phone or on Zoom, we can hear you.  Thirty-eight percent of your message resonates from the tone of your voice and speaking style. Volume, pitch, inflection and rate of speech convey more than we realize. Speaking too quietly or loudly, too high or low, quickly or slowly can communicate nerves, aggression, or impatience. Try to keep a level tone.

Inflection, or emphasis on a certain part of the sentence, speaks volumes. “Upspeak,” where the end of a sentence rises like a question, has become ubiquitous. Without intending it, you come across as insecure or indecisive. Not the leadership note you want to hit.

Choose the Right Tool

The communication channel you choose has its own tone. So make sure to select the right tool for the job. Chat platforms are less formal – but also more fleeting – so assigning a critical deadline via chat will decrease its importance and increase the chances it disappears. Seeking feedback on a specific piece of content? Skip email and, instead, use a collaboration space like Clarizen where conversations can be connected to a given piece of work for fine tuning in the present as well as future reference.

Your team takes its cues from you. Even when it seems the sky is falling – or especially in such cases – pay attention to your words. And just as importantly, find the best way to broadcast your message. As an artist might choose between oils or watercolor, it’s up to you to choose the best medium for the idea you have in mind. If collaboration is key, Clarizen offers the perfect canvas.


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Preview: Gartner Market Guide for Adaptive Project Management & Reporting

Pick a PPM solution with the best capabilities to match your unique needs


In the Gartner Market Guide for Adaptive Project Management & Reporting guide, Gartner, Inc. provides recommendations and evaluation criteria for executives and PMO leaders assessing Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions. This guide outlines the adaptive project management and reporting process flow as well as a market review of current providers in the following categories:

  • - Existing pure-play PPM providers
  • - Collaborative work management (CWM) providers
  • - Enterprise agile planning (EAP) providers
  • - Technology Platform providers from other markets

The guide provides insight into how well a product or service fulfills certain functional capabilities – with a forward-looking market direction and analysis provided.

In the report, Gartner, Inc. mentions/states that “by 2024, 50% of all program and portfolio management (PPM) leaders will integrate complementary technologies to enable portfolio decision making and adaptive work management for digital business evolution.”

Clarizen offers a complete solution that connects work across the enterprise, turning ideas into strategies, plans, and action. With Clarizen, organizations can work the way they want to work and have real time visibility across all workstreams in their portfolio. This keeps teams focused on the things that matter, provides the real-time information needed to make more accurate and timely decisions, and delivers results faster to meet and even exceed company goals and customers’ expectations.

Discover what sets Clarizen apart from other vendors in the marketplace.
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Buyer’s guide to project management software
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