Communicating with others is an essential competence for Bid and Proposal Managers and all proposal team members. Understanding how to communicate with others and in different circumstances is a skill that can be developed.
Communication is the means by which information is exchanged and a common understanding is achieved. Its goals are to:
- Impart relevant information
- Ensure the information is understood
Here are some ways you can improve communication with others:
Understand the components of communication.
Communication comes in many forms and depends on various factors. The range of available channels of communication is increasing all the time. Every new channel brings its own opportunities and challenges.
Bid and Proposal Managers and their sponsors must take all these factors into account when deciding on the content and structure of their communications.
Use communication as a leadership tool.
In the context of proposal management, leadership is best and most simply defined by its goals, which are to:
- Provide focus and promote commitment to objectives
- Inspire team members to successfully achieve their objectives
Delegation and accountability
Delegation is the practice of giving a person or group the authority and responsibility to perform specific activities on behalf of another. The act of delegation does not transfer accountability. The person who has delegated the work remains accountable for its results.
The goals of the delegation are to allocate work effectively to individuals, teams, and suppliers and to motivate and develop team members. Delegation underpins a style of management that encourages proposal team members to use and develop their skills and knowledge.
The first step is to define the task or work package and confirm that it is something that can be delegated. A team or individual can be selected after their capability to do the work has been assessed and any training needs have been identified.
Encourage teamwork and the pursuit of a common goal.
Teamwork is how a group of people come together to collaborate and cooperate in achieving common objectives. The goals of teamwork are to create a team from a collection of individuals and to develop and maintain the team’s performance
The difference between a team and a group of individuals is the team’s collective commitment to agreed-on objectives. Individuals will perform better in a team context if they are given a role that plays to their strengths.
Anticipate and manage conflict.
It’s important to recognize the difference between conflict management and conflict resolution. The latter is only one aspect of the former. The proposal development environment is almost designed to create conflict: people come together on a temporary basis in new and changing situations to meet a challenging set of objectives.
Communication is the means by which information is exchanged and a common understanding is achieved. It is an essential skill for Bid and Proposal Managers. Understand the principles and components of communication to effectively develop your communication skills.