Stay Constructive with Communication

Stay Constructive with Communication, by Cindy Braun

Two years ago, I worked with a company selling new construction homes. This was a significant learning curve for me, as I was working in sales in a completely new industry. Each project was a massive undertaking to pull together a diverse group of subcontractors and laborers to complete a beautiful masterpiece. I always had great respect for all of the hands and feet that worked together to achieve the end goal of a move-in-ready home.

As I worked in this role, it became clear to me that efficient communication was very important. Three different groups - the construction manager, the sales team, and the client - had to work together and agree on clear timelines to make sure nothing fell through the cracks. The stakes are sky-high when you're working on million-dollar homes, and the client is emotionally invested in the end result.

Perhaps you have managed a project with lots of moving parts and seen the need to set clear expectations and over-communicate to keep everything working smoothly. Let me ask you - Do you inspect what you expect from others along the way?

Effective project management requires excellent communication and teamwork, even in the face of adversity. Based on my observations of human behavior, when we edify and build others up, we work together more productively. So how can we stay constructive with our communication while keeping our eye on the goal? It's all about culture. Constructive criticism will thrive in an environment that is open to it. For example, start your staff meetings by discussing recent wins and what went well before examining possible improvements.

The people around us will pick up on our energy. No one is at ease when anxiety is in the air. Did you know a smile boosts your energy and your endorphins and lowers your blood pressure? Find an opportunity to flash a smile now and then - even from behind a mask!

Dr. David Jeremiah shared these points to help us stay constructive in our communication:

  1. It is not about us, it is about others.
  2. It is not about what we profess, it is about what we pursue.
  3. It is not about how much you know, it is about how much you care.

One of the most important lessons my career has given me is this: We must think carefully about how we communicate, so that we are building others up and not tearing them down. What may take years to create may take only moments to break.

I will leave you with this anonymous poem, which I believe illustrates these thoughts on constructive communication:

I saw them tearing a building down, a group of men in a busy town,

With hefty blow and lusty yell they swung with zest and a sidewall fell.

Asked of the foreman, “Are these men skilled?  The kind you would hire if you had to build?”

He looked at me and laughed, “No indeed, unskilled labor is all I need.  Why they can wreck in a day or two what has taken builders years to do.”

I asked myself as I went my way, which of these roles have I tried to play?  Am I a builder with rule and square, measuring and constructing with skill and care?  Or am I the wrecker who walks the town content with the business of tearing down?

- Anonymous

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