Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Virtual PM: 7 Best Practices for Effective Communication

I recently wrote a whitepaper entitled “The Virtual Project Manager: Seven Best Practices for Effective Communication,” which was published by the Project Management Institute (PMI). You can download it by clicking on the link, but for those of you who don’t want to read through the 4-page article, I included a summary slide deck that highlights its main takeaways.

Let me know what you think about it in the comments section below!


Please, Know When to Shut Up in Meetings

Here’s a common problem in teleconference meetings: some people just don’t know when to shut up to get a point across.

This includes folks who keep making the same point over and over again, and do not understand the concept of “less is more.”

Although this happens in face-to-face meetings as well, it is more common in virtual meetings because the presenter can’t read his or her audience’s visual cues to know whether they’re still actively listening.

In the spirit of knowing when to shut up, I’ll keep this post short and simple, and show a graph of how I think the audience’s interest level reacts to the presenter’s talking time.

So how do you know where you are on the curve?

That’s not an easy question to answer, but here are three possible cues that you’re going downhill:

  1. Uncomfortable Silence: As in, you hear crickets chirping on the phone.
  2. Someone drops a hint: Such as, “Hey, I think in the interest of time, we should discuss the next topic.
  3. Someone says it: Such as “I think we just abused this point to death and everyone got it the first time you said it, next topic please.

For the love of God, please don’t reply to #3 with “Ok, but just to make sure, I want to repeat this one more time for the entire team…

My 1-sentence Summaries of the Best 6 Books I’ve Read on Productivity

I’m a voracious reader of non-fiction books, and I usually read the latest bestsellers in the business, psychology, and finance genres. Every once in a while, I come across one that leaves a remarkable impact on the way I think or act, and the list below includes six of those books (I’ve read each at least twice).

Of course, not every one of them is about productivity, but I’ve boiled each to a single-sentence takeaway that generally increases my efficiency and reduces stress.  I also included the links (affiliate links) on the book illustrations so you can click on the pictures below to learn more about each book.

Know of any other books about productivity that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!