Leadership is a crucial quality in many industries, but in some, it’s even more important. Construction is an industry where leadership matters. This is because not only does the project rely on great leadership, but safety rests on a leader as well.
The construction industry employs over 6 million people. A successful construction project manager can make or break the job, which is why leadership is considered one of the most prized qualities a project manager can have.
There will always be unexpected problems to solve in the construction industry. Even careful planning can’t account for every possibility. But a strong leader is more likely to bring a project to successful completion, even if problems arise.
In order to become a strong leader on a construction site, there are five things you can do:
- Delegate tasks
- Communicate clearly
- Set an example
- Manage your own stress
- Build a cohesive team
In this guide, we’ll take a look at each of these skills in depth. If you’re ready to become a better leader, and a stronger construction project manager, read on.
The Best Construction Project Manager Will Delegate Tasks
As much as you might believe that you can do the job better than anyone else- – and as much as that might be true – you simply can’t be everywhere at once. You need to delegate.
We know delegating tasks is tough. You have to trust others’ abilities. But if you delegate, you’ll notice a few results:
- You’ll be less stressed.
- Your team will be more productive.
- Your team will feel useful.
- Your team will grow their skills.
Delegating might make your stomach flip at first, but the more you do it, the easier it’ll get.
Strong Leaders Communicate Clearly
If you have the gift of gab, you might already have this skill down perfectly. But even if you don’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t build it. Clear communication not only helps get the job done with more efficiency and safety, but it also sets you apart as someone to look to.
It sets you apart as a leader.
If communication isn’t your strong suit, try making notecards with what you need to communicate. Then, memorize the points on each card. Practice in your mirror at home before it’s time to deliver instructions. You can also create a framework to help your communication skills. Start out by telling your team what the objective is, and then lay out exactly how it will be done and when the deadline is.
Keep it simple.
Set the Right Example
An effective construction project manager not only tells the team what to do, but demonstrates how to do it. If you’ve ever heard someone say, “Do as I say, not as I do,” you probably develop an immediate dislike of that person.
It’s easier to lead people by example than by expectations alone. Doing so makes you a part of the team, not someone sent to order the team around.
By demonstrating how you expect your team to perform, you can lead without having to tell them what to do in many cases.
Keep Your Own Stress in Check
If you can’t keep your own stress under control, how will you react when there’s a problem on the construction site? Chances are, not well. By projecting your own stress, you’re telling your team that you don’t have everything under control.
How do you manage your own stress? In a job where anything can happen and the timely success of the job rests on your shoulders, no one would believe you if you said you weren’t stressed. However, managing your stress is different from not having any.
When you’re not on the job, you can talk to your significant other. Exercise. Relax with your favorite book or sports team.
When you’re on the site though, and those stress relief measures aren’t available, how do you keep stress in check? The answer is by preventing it from growing out of control to begin with. As a project manager, you already know the importance of organization and prioritization, but you don’t have to go it alone.
These days, technology is on your side. There are a number of construction project management apps can help keep your project moving along smoothly and keep you from getting too stressed out about it.
Strong Leaders Build Cohesive Teams
When it comes to a construction crew, does everyone need to be buddy-buddy? No. That’s not only unrealistic, but it’s unnecessary.
You do need to build a cohesive team, though. You need to foster an environment built on mutual respect. The tricky thing about the construction industry is that team building not only influences how and when the job gets done, but also the safety of the crew.
How can you build a cohesive team? We’ve got some suggestions for you:
Reward hard work.
Nothing builds a team like breaking open a few pizza boxes together. If your team has been working hard, treat them to a pizza night.
There’s a difference between professionalism and not having any fun at work. As a construction project manager, let your crew chat as they work and get to know one another to build team bonds.
Pair crew members who have complimentary skill sets. Tasks that require expertise of more than one employee are great team building experiences.
These are a great way to get started building your team. Remember–this skill doesn’t develop overnight. Team building takes time. But if you keep at it, your crew will work harder, more efficiently, and more safely together under your leadership.
Becoming a great construction project manager is about more than completing the job on time. You need to wear many hats in your role–including becoming a leader. Most important, you need to help others become leaders as well.
This is the true mark of leadership, and it will mitigate that delegating stomach flip. If you know you can trust your team, and they know they can trust you, the work will show it.
If you still have questions about construction, contact us.