What A Doctor Can Teach You About Construction Contracting
What an Excellent Doctor can teach you about being an Excellent Construction Contractor.
Pay Attention to the Doctor
You already know that when it comes to your health, not any old doctor will do. Of course, you want a competent doctor, but you want more than competency. You want a doctor who has a patient-based purpose, a doctor who truly cares about you and your needs.
Here are some things you want to see when you trust your doctor to make you well or help you maintain your health. You want the doctor who:
Listens to the patient
Manages the patient’s pain as swiftly as possible
Makes the patient feel respected and valued
Pays attention to the details
Listens to the Patient
The first and most important of a doctor’s diagnostic medical tools are his eyes and ears.
The same is true for a construction subcontractor dealing with a GC or owner. Beyond empathy, support, and reassurance, there must be honesty, openness, and responsiveness. Listening to the concerns and preferences of the client leads to trust.
Similar to questions of “when did you first notice these symptoms?” or “where does it hurt?” asking your GC or client about scope, timeline, payment methods, or preferred communication tools is a starting point for seeing and hearing. While it can be as simple as reading the contract, sometimes it involves further questions and more detail.
Manages the Patient’s Pain as Swiftly as Possible
While a doctor may need to prescribe pain pills, inject a quick pain reliever, move joints back into place, or suggest other methods of pain relief, the point is to control the pain in such a way as to give comfort and further the patient’s ability to heal.
It isn’t always easy to see exceptional pain points. (That is where listening well comes into play.) But here are some of the common pain points GCs or owners face:
Staying within budget
Dealing with the architectural design team
Meeting the needs of the client
Maintaining the schedule
Adhering to code
Dealing with multiple subcontractors
Working within weather conditions and restraints
Keeping a clean job site
Managing safety concerns
Relieving your client or GC of pain as swiftly as possible will make the rest of your relationship more comfortable.
Makes the Patient Feel Respected and Valued
An excellent doctor will display the following traits:
organized and conscientious
curious – will try to learn more when they are uncertain of a diagnosis
collaborative – with the patient as well as other doctors
persistent in advocating for their patients
An excellent subcontractor will let the GC or owner know they respect and value time and budget restraints, understand the concerns or problems at hand and are willing to go the extra mile.
Here are some ways that can be done:
Ensure your crew shows up on time with all the materials needed to complete the day’s tasks.
Behave calmly and respectfully even when there is a significant disagreement.
Never talk down to those who have less information.
Don’t cut corners for the sake of either time or financial considerations.
Do more than is asked of you.
Pays Attention to the Details
We’ve all heard horror stories concerning the amputation of a perfectly good leg or the sponges or instruments left in the patient’s body after surgery. Those are certainly details that the doctor missed. But those are extreme examples and not normal. Instead, the importance of a doctor paying attention to details has to do with more mundane yet still critical issues.
For example, the orthopedic surgeon who walks into the examination room to find an extremely nervous teenager who has recently taken a tumble from her skateboard knows better than to start the conversation with technical jargon or even a “don’t be a baby” attitude.
Instead, he notices the shirt she is wearing that displays her interest in old cars and connects with her by saying, “Oh, you like classic cars, so do I. My favorite is . . .” That small detail makes moving the conversation to her injury a tad easier.
Attention to detail is one essential trait of excellent construction subcontractors like their counterparts, excellent doctors.
The article, 7 Simple Habits to Improve Your Attention to Detail gives a few brief instructions you’ll find helpful.
This attention to detail aspect of being a better construction subcontractor may also require renewing your mind. You may need to toss old truths and replace them with a different way of looking at your company and how you do business.
For example, rather than the mindset that every job will require a final walk-through with a punch list. You can make it a priority for yourself and your team members to notice the details, see the omissions, catch the errors, and avoid the oops moments inherently embedded in the annoying (and, on occasion, embarrassing) punch list.
Reflection: In what ways can you improve your “bedside manner” when dealing with your present and future clients? What steps will you take to improve at least one area discussed in this article?
Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
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