Just as any other technical industry in the 21st century, Civil Engineers are tasked with more than competence in the basic principles of their practice. They must master the latest technologies to produce plans that are useable by all trades and other professions working collaboratively to execute the project, they must maintain knowledge of an ever changing regulatory environment, they must produce deliverables on a tighter timeline than ever before, and they must do all of this while being stewards of their clients’ needs, desires, and budget. Civil Engineers must also stay abreast of engineered products available that best meet these requirements and challenges. Engineered civil site products companies, like Contech, are a great partner in this endeavor providing resources, tools, and consultants to address these many requirements.
Even with the best partner resources, contacts, and products, a necessary human leadership element is still most important. Quality leadership in the civil construction industry provides the roadmap through the many options and decisions that must be made to end the journey at a desirable project specification and smooth execution in the field. Quality leadership can mean a lot of things and different approaches can all be successful. However, if 2020 has proven anything, it’s that one cannot be a quality leader without finding a way to constantly communicate.
Reflecting on project successes in 2020, a leader’s ability to adapt to the changing needs of communication style was key. Face to face communication early and often is how many prefer to do business, but when faced with a national pandemic that wasn’t always possible. A leader’s ability to find the best ways to connect with another project partner highlights the importance of communication and emotional intelligence in management within the engineering and construction industry. Understanding each other’s continuous access, or lack of access, to different technology types throughout the day is only a small piece of the puzzle. Personal comfort and efficiency with those tools play an important role in the success of their use. Learning one’s own communication preferences and then finding a way to adjust to your partner’s needs and preferences, or perhaps bridging communication for two different styles between other partners, establishes the basic platform to stay on the project roadmap.