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Critical Knowledge inSight: Communicating with Openness and Trust

Communication is paramount in the success of all project work. There will always be a need to work with many groups and individuals when performing teamwork, so it can become important as a project leader to share as much information as possible to keep your team aware of the overall project.

In this video, Bruce Manners, who worked as the NASA Commercial Systems Division Project Executive for Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems (COTS), explains how openness and trust are important components of good communication when dealing with complex partnerships on a project. Watch the video to gain insights on communication from Manners.



  1. 1.

    Communicate as openly with partners as possible.

  2. 2.

    Own up to any mistake.

  3. 3.

    Do not misrepresent any information as this could kill the trust between partners in a relationship.

  4. 4.

    Be upfront and honest about what information you cannot share with other partners, and be understanding that they also might need to withhold some of their own information.


One of the topics Manners tackles in the video is how trust needs to be carefully earned and then cultivated during any project relationships. If you falsely represent something, you damage a partner’s ability to put trust in you. Manners points out that mistakes can happen, and as long as you are honest and communicate openly about them, then they should not be a hindrance for any project to succeed.

Communication is something that everyone needs to work on to make a successful project. Keeping these lessons in mind can boost strong and effective communication. Please review the list below for more resources that can help to make your communication a strong point.

Related Resources:

NASA APPEL Courses on Communication

NASA Case Studies on Communication

Lessons Learned Information System Search Query for Lessons on Communications

Critical Knowledge inSight is a new series of articles highlighting information to help practitioners identify and overcome obstacles that interfere with mission success. Each article focuses on a critical knowledge topic and features knowledge insight through a short video clip with subject matter experts sharing information needed to solve problems and drive innovation. Articles include a brief summary of key learning points gleaned from the expert’s insight along with related resources, such as case studies, courses and lessons learned, to further explore the topic and provide you with quick-hitting, targeted learning to enhance your knowledge base.

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