What Soft Skills Are Important
When Working in the Construction Industry?

See also: Project Planning

In the construction industry, soft skills are arguably more important than any hard skill you can ever learn. In fact, if you have a good set of soft skills, hard skills tend to fall into place once management recognizes this talent. In addition to being easily recognized, your ability to become a role model for your team will improve your credibility and give you a leg up on the competition. Given this reality, it is vital that you figure out how to develop these soft skills before it’s too late.

Sam, the Director of Internal Doors UK says "Having hard skills in the construction industry is crucial, but your soft skills are what will help take you to higher levels.

In this article, we discuss some of the most crucial skills that everyone in the construction industry should have.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Time Management

Time management is an important soft skill when working in the construction industry. The construction industry is one of the toughest jobs because of its tight schedules and deadlines, and so it needs people who can handle the pressure involved. To work in the construction industry, you need to always understand your assigned task and ensure you meet the set deadline.

The construction industry also needs people who can keep track of multiple tasks, juggle different deadlines, and who can communicate efficiently. To develop great time management, always ensure you understand your schedules, and the deadlines. That way, you can make sure you spend a specific amount of time on each task and be done with them all at the end of the day.

2. Communication

Communication is an important soft skill in the construction industry because you must be able to develop relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, and other involved parties.

Communication is a learned skill. It is important to develop good communication skills in order to become proficient at working in the construction industry. When developing good communication skills, it is first important to listen. So, listen carefully and actively, and ask questions when necessary, express yourself clearly, and provide the right information. This will help you to understand how to communicate effectively with your both your fellow employees and bosses. Moreover, strong communication skills can help subcontractors in negotiation situations. They need to negotiate terms, project specifications, and deadlines with general contractors and clients, enabling them to assert their interests and find mutually beneficial solutions for successful project outcomes.

3. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another crucial soft skill when working in the construction industry.

This skill involves the use of logic and creative thinking to come up with a viable solution to a problem. It is vital in the construction industry because every problem is unique, and there will never be a 'one size fits all' answer.

When working on projects, you will inevitably face many situations where the answer is not obvious, or there may be various opinions or perspectives that could be correct. Being able to spot a problem, draw conclusions and come up with a viable solution is, therefore, essential to the success of any construction project.

The construction industry is very fast-paced, and problem-solving is a skill that can be learnt and developed with practice. If you are not sure about a problem, you can always ask the superiors until you get the hang of it.

4. Stress Management

Stress management is equally important in the construction industry because employees often work long hours and typically work under stressful conditions. Construction workers also often work in dangerous or hazardous conditions. Statistics show that in 2014, construction was the industry that had the highest rate of fatal occupational injuries. The construction industry also has the highest rates of employee stress compared with other industries.

Here are some recommendations that can help you cope with stress better:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise.
  • Keep a positive outlook.

5. Leadership

Leadership is the ability to inspire others to achieve a common goal.

The construction industry has an enormous need for leaders at all levels.

The skills that are required of a leader are similar to those required in any industry. However, the construction industry places additional demands on leaders.

Successful leaders in the construction industry have leadership skills that enable them to motivate, inspire, communicate, negotiate and delegate effectively.

Developing leadership skills in the construction industry can take time, but it can still be done. Leadership isn't something that just happens by chance. It requires conscious, constant effort.

To build leadership skills, start by understanding yourself, and defining your core values. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What motivates you? What drives you?

Take the time to understand yourself so that you can effectively lead others.

Next, understand your people. Take the time to get to know your co-workers.

Taking the time to understand yourself and others will make you a better leader.

6. Project Management

Construction projects are usually complex. They need people with experience, knowledge, and practical skills. A project manager in this industry is expected to possess the following skills:

  1. The ability to listen and to understand.
  2. The ability to lead, persuade, influence and motivate team members.
  3. The ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  4. The ability to negotiate with clients and other construction team members.

Project management also includes technical knowledge such as building codes, safety practices and techniques, as well as the ability to read blueprints. These skills can be learned through a variety of methods, including on the job training, seminars, and classes.

As with any career, project management is not for everyone. Those who thrive in a project management environment are typically well organized, detail-oriented, self-motivated and goal-oriented.

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Soft skills are important in the construction industry. Construction workers are in high demand, and the people who succeed in it are the ones who have these skills.

In addition to a strong work ethic, you need some soft skills, like the ability to work well with others. You will work hand in hand with your colleagues, so being able to get along with them is important. Plus, you will deal with the public. So, if you want to succeed, you will need to become the type of person who gets along well with people.

About the Author

Lucy is a freelance writer who covers a range of topics on digital trends and eCommerce.