The construction industry has changed. No longer what it used to be, it’s in the process of redefining itself as technology continues to influence how businesses operate.
As the workplace becomes more dynamic, it’s becoming more important than ever for those in the construction industry to develop a wide range of soft skills to progress through the ranks. If you’re ready to move up in your career or begin transitioning into a different role then developing and demonstrating the below 5 soft skills will help you on your way.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are a combination of communication skills and human qualities which sit outside of your professional qualifications and work experience. They’re centred around how you effectively interact, lead and communicate with other people in the workforce.
Why do you need them?
Developing your soft skills is essential for any successful career.
The common misconception is that technical expertise and experience is all you need to get the job. But it’s strong communication skills that help you establish positive relationships with stakeholders and in turn, positively lead teams.
What are the top five soft skills to help you progress?
More often than not, you’ll be faced with an audience who knows little to nothing about your sector or project. Strong communication skills are therefore essential in explaining technical information to those non-technical audiences. Comprehension of the task or project falls on you, so be concise and accurate. It’s also important to ensure all stakeholders are across what you’re relaying.
Career progression and growth come from displaying management potential. Whether it’s leading individuals, small teams or entire organisations, great leaders are those who lead a team not manage one. Some people have the natural ability to do this while others may need to undergo training and mentorship.
Across all roles in construction, lateral thinking and problem-solving skills are recognised as advantageous. With complex problems comes a need for innovative solutions. Therefore an ability to think creatively and calmly in a crisis will be acknowledged and more often, rewarded.
Listening is a soft-skill most assume they already have mastered. But effective listening is to take the time to hear, understand and explore what your team members are saying. A strong leader will have strong listening skills and in turn, build better relationships and trust with relevant stakeholders. Reduce double-ups, cross-overs and hazards on projects by simply paying more attention to others.
In an industry driven by contracts and negotiation, influence is not only nice to have, but it’s also a must-have. From presenting ideas to re-negotiating timelines, it’s important to appear confident and decisive while remaining level headed. This will set you apart from what can be an ego heavy world.
Developing your soft skills
While the notion that ‘soft skills’ is something you’re born with still remains popular, training does exist to help you develop where necessary, and there is a huge range of qualifications that require soft skills to be measured as part of the certification.
If you’re looking to grow your soft skills, be sure to explore your options. There is a range of ways you can work on developing your repertoire to help you develop skills that will help you progress your career or move to other fields and roles.
Find out more
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career read more on How to plan your next career move.
Recognised prior learning (RPL) can help you get your soft skills and expertise certified through your existing experience. Complete our free 60 second skills test to find out if you can get certified through RPL.