4 Soft Skills That Make You a Better General Contractor
Of course, general contractors are familiar with the importance of “hard skills,” which are the special abilities and areas of knowledge they’ve honed to succeed in construction — including degrees, certifications, or hands-on expertise. However, “soft skills” make up another crucial element of working in the construction industry. Including talents from critical thinking to communication, the right soft skills can help general contractors increase productivity, easily handle conflict, and find unique solutions to problems.
The Most Important Soft Skills for a General Contractor
1. Interpersonal Communication
The successful completion of a construction project requires multiple skilled workers, each one with a specific area of expertise. Given the complexity of construction projects, an effective general contractor must possess the soft skills to engage employees using verbal and written communication. Interpersonal communication skills allow you to connect with employees from different backgrounds and in different environments. This reduces problems on the construction site and strengthens relationships between field workers, subcontractors, and stakeholders.
2. Conflict Management
When multiple parties are working on the same project, conflict is inevitable. While lower-level workers may bicker, general contractors understand that, as a leader, it is their responsibility to remain calm and collected when conflict erupts. To succeed as a general contractor, you must have the self-control and emotional intelligence to communicate clearly when conflict gets heated. With adept conflict management, you can mediate between workers and quickly get the project back on track.
3. Adaptability and Problem Solving
Anyone familiar with the construction industry is keenly aware that conditions on a construction site are prone to sudden and unpredictable changes. These changes could range from safety or environmental concerns to weather delays. If general contractors are too dedicated to a specific course of action, it can be challenging to make necessary adjustments and keep the project running smoothly. In the construction industry, remaining adaptable in the face of change will help your whole crew be more responsive and able to enact quick pivots.
4. Multitasking and Organization
Each construction project comprises various moving parts that must work together like a well-oiled machine. As a result, general contractors should seek to master staying organized and multitasking when under pressure. A disorganized approach is sure to see important details slip through the cracks, and with multiple areas of the project advancing at once, failure to multitask can seriously disrupt timelines. Even when a new variable comes into play, remaining organized and working it into your schedule alongside other priorities will help prevent critical mistakes.
How Modern Software Can Support Your Soft Skills
If you’re a general contractor with the desire to amplify your soft skills and become more efficient, your first step should be to simplify processes and find ways to support aspects like organization and communication. Fortunately, there are modern software tools specifically designed to empower your construction workflow.
BlackVector is a unified project management platform that simplifies routine administrative tasks with integratable modules. For example, our Pre-Construct Module supports communication and project clarity by allowing general contractors to create detailed estimates and share this information with all team members using cloud technology. It also opens lines of communication with your trade partners, enabling you to easily request and compare bids. You can even manage and organize your relationships through Pre-Construct’s unique Trade Partner Scorecard, so your best partners never fall by the wayside.
Other modules like Project Manager further support your soft skills by helping general contractors manage submittals, change orders, and progress reports all in one organized software solution. Meanwhile, communication continues to flourish through Project Manager with cloud sharing and additional tools for trade partners, letting them access systems and create progress reports.
Streamline Your Construction Project with BlackVector
BlackVector is the ultimate project management solution, made by construction experts to meet the unique needs of industry professionals. BlackVector’s proprietary modules streamline your administrative tasks so your team can focus on delivering work that’s always up to standard and always on time.
Ready to improve some of your most critical soft skills and support steady growth through your construction projects? Contact BlackVector today to learn more about our revolutionary project management tool and how it can help take your firm to the next level.