Slow, Quick, Slow: How to Build Trust with Project Partners

Slow Quick Slow How to Build Trust with Project Partners

Construction is extremely complex, local, and specialized.
The reason we have subcontractors in many trades working on projects is that they have the specific skill and knowledge that is necessary to build a quality project. So, working with project partners that you trust is essential.

How can you build trust with your project partners?

  1. Be slow to get angry.
  2. Be quick to listen.
  3. Be slow to speak.

People make mistakes
When one of your partner projects blows it, it’s easy to jump to conclusions as to why it happened. Don’t immediately impute to them evil intentions. Make sure that you are slow to get angry, and you give them the benefit of the doubt.

Have a conversation with them about why that mistake happened.
Get on the phone or drive out to the job site, get face to face with them ideally, and let them give you their explanation. It’s natural to jump to conclusions, but later, when you try and figure out what happened, the data that you receive, many times, changes your perspective, and you see that you were wrong about the conclusion you reached. That’s why it’s so important to not only be slow to get angry but then quick to listen.

Once you speak, you can’t take it back.
I have a house full of kids. They regularly get into spats with each other. My wife and I always encourage them to “take the log off the fire.” If you keep putting logs on a fire, the fire will keep burning. It’s the same thing with our words. The best ways to take the logs off the fire, dampen down a conflict, and to build trust with the project partners that you work with is to be slow to speak.

You know how vital project partners are to your success.
It’s easy to get angry, jump to conclusions, refuse to listen to other people’s perspectives, and fight to get the last word. It’s hard to build long-term relationships of trust. One of the best ways to improve trust is to be slow to wrath, quick to listen, and slow to speak.

This post is adapted from a recent podcast episode of Construction Genius.

Click the link to listen to the episode: