The efficiency and effectiveness of a construction project strongly depends on the quality of communication between stakeholders. Miscommunication can negatively impact a project’s schedule, the quality of the end result, the set budget, and even people’s safety. If things really go off the rails, legal issues can arise and at that point, there are no clear winners, only remorseful participants.
Most miscommunication issues can be mitigated by enhancing our communication skills in both personal and professional lives. We have the ability to improve ourselves and our relationships, by reflecting on our current situations, learning from our mistakes, and thereby enhancing future interactions.
Here are some effective communication skills.
Try to listen twice as much as you speak and refrain from interrupting. Reflect and repeat what you have heard to the person. Active listening can lead to deep understanding.
Be clear and concise
Whether it is written or verbal, use simple language and appropriate terminologies that all parties will understand.
We transmit information using our tone, facial expression, body language, posture, and attitude. Use eye contact to connect throughout the conversation to show that you care and are engaged and attentive.
When you ask questions, you show the other party you are engaged and interested in the discussion.
Be empathetic and understanding
The ability to understand and share the feelings of another person from their perspective can create meaningful bonds and enhance trust. We all want to be heard and understood.
Trust develops with small positive acts and actions over time. Trust requires a level of vulnerability, a willingness to be open about our feelings, and the ability to own up to our mistakes.
Effective communication skills require ongoing effort, reflection, and implementation.
As Mark Twain said, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”