Does your day ever go by so fast that you look back and wonder what you missed?

Often in construction we miss getting a sub-contractor what they need to move the project forward.

Conscious not to be confused with Conscience means to be aware, concerned with, referring (of an action or feeling) deliberate and intentional.

John Maxwell has a book called Intentional Living. One of the quotes in the book is “Nobody finishes well by accident”. Adding simple, consistent habits can improve your reputation at work.

What is a good starting point that we can do as construction managers intentionally with our sub-contractors that reflects directly on us and our future?

When we interview and check references on candidates we listen for those who are proactive and forms professional relationships with their sub-contractors. How do we determine this? The top candidates know the key contacts on their projects for each division by name. They also can many times provide them as references and that subcontractor contact will comment to how there are often challenging moments throughout the project, but he or she respected that the construction manager effectively communicated through treating them as a vital part of the solution and success of the project.

We often get calls from employers in our industry looking to change out a construction manager due to the individual does not build rapport with the subs on the jobsite and/or they are not responsive to their needs causing delays along with the subcontractors having to circumvent the construction manager to get what they need. How do you make sure this isn’t you getting let go?

Each project has multiple sub-contractors. You may or may not interact or be responsible to provide direction and support to all of them dependent on the size and scope of the job. Focus on the sub-contractors assigned to you. Have a list of their company and contact names, cell numbers at minimum easily accessible to you from your phone. At least once a day read through the list and take a moment to mentally sign off the list that they are not waiting on anything you can make a difference with. Not only does this help you take inventory of your team it also helps you take inventory of your thoughts and something you may have overlooked.

According to many studies including one as recently published in 2014 by National Geographic on auditory vs visual and tactile recollection it says: “Our auditory memory isn’t as robust as we might like to think it is,” says Poremba. “We think that we are great at integrating all the senses,” but the experiment shows that tactile and visual memory easily trumped auditory memory.

Forming this habit and taking a few minutes a day to intentionally look at everyone in the group vs just the squeaky wheel will move you from reactive to proactive. It will build your references which ultimately builds your career.

If you already practice this we would love to hear from you on how it has helped you manage for success so please take time to comment.

If you don’t already check your sub-contractor list to jog your memory each day we challenge you to try it for six weeks. We can’t wait for you to share how your intentional actions improve your results and most of all your stress level! Will you start today and become sub-conscious? It will change your tomorrow.

2 Comments
  • Hatesh patel

    Yes interview

  • brenda

    One of my mentors in the industry once said to me, “do not spoon feed your subs, rather, nurture them and assist in their development whenever necessary.” In my experience when one takes the collaborative, teamwork approach in building relationships with subs it has always resulted in a win win situation. Your subs develop trust in you and you earn their respect. Your subs are your partners for the duration of a project. When crunch time comes around they will step up to the plate to ensure you get the job done.

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