One of the most important parts of managing a team is being able to communicate in a healthy and effective way. As mentioned in my last blog post, communicating with your team (or staff) is an integral part of making changes to a job site and getting a construction project completed. Effective, respectful communication will make a world of difference in both efficiency of your team, and overall atmosphere on a job site. Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind when communicating on a job, with your staff, or even with vendors:
Take Your Time
Trying to rush through any form of communication can create several issues in the long run. Not only will it make the party you’re communicating with feel unsettled and unheard, you may also be doing yourself a disservice. When you rush through a phone call or in-person conversation, you may also miss important points that you wanted to make in your conversation. So, next time you’re conversing, take a deep breath and really listen to all portions of the conversation. If you really don’t have the time to talk, and rushing is the only option, don’t have the conversation just then. Set aside some time to actually talk through whatever issue at a later time.
Be Willing to Adapt
If someone from your staff or team comes to you with an idea, be sure to hear them out. While construction jobs are usually pretty straight forward, with every detail mapped out, someone may have an idea or solution to a problem that you haven’t thought up. Remember, everyone has a different perspective, and teamwork and open communication can breed interesting, positive outcomes.
Learn to Read NonVerbal Cues
Construction projects have innumerable moving parts, and it can be easy to be distracted by all that is going on. But, it’s essential to really focus on the person that you are speaking to, in order to get the full picture of what they are saying. Whether you are talking to a superior, subordinate, or third-party to the project, pay attention to their body language. According to research, approximately 80-90 percent of the meaning of a message lies in the nonverbal part of it. Watching and understanding non-verbal cues will help you get a better understanding of what is actually taking place with the construction project.
Touch Base After A Conversation
The follow up is essential to communicating effectively. Often times, we have a conversation and assume that all points were made, and everyone has reached an understanding. But the truth is, that’s not always the case. Don’t operate on the assumption that one quick conversation has solved all problems. Make sure to touch base with either a follow up convo, or a quick text/email/phone call. It’ll save you so much potential trouble in the future.
It’s no secret that effective communication can occasionally be difficult. But make an effort to use these tips during future conversations; you’ll be surprised by how much positive can come from concentrated efforts on bettering your communication style.