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Your student assistant just came back after a week of diligent work, just for you two to discover that they did not the thing you thought you had told them to do. Everyone is confused and frustrated and the mood is at rock bottom. 

In a project, the lines of communication can break easily. People can leave a meeting and have widely different perceptions about what was talked about and what was agreed upon. Delegating work can result in unexpected outcomes. Bad communication is the source of confusion and frustration, but no communication can also leave people feel aimless and clueless. 


There is no easy trick to fix this problem, only hard work improving your communication skills and recognising situations where communication goes awry. However, these points may help:

  • Other people cannot read your mind. Make things explicit!
  • Sent does not mean received. Get acknowledgement that your message has been received and understood!
  • Assign responsibility for tasks to project members and make sure that everyone agrees on what has to be done and whose responsibility it is that they are being done!

Go and talk to you colleagues ... clearly and unambiguously!