Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 29

When a team identifies its problem as one of
poor communication and then works to try and
resolve the "poor communication" issue, I found
that significant improvement could not be made.
Only by understanding the root cause can you
effectively work to solve the underlying issue.
project. If a decision is made but no one
understands how it is supposed to be implemented, then you will end up with different
people implementing different solutions -
leading to chaos and what appears to be
poor communication.
Tip: Work to become a trusted leader
For a team to succeed, someone must be
the leader. I see many teams without clear
leaders and those teams seem to lack direction
and clarity. People vie for power and position, and that never leads to success. Instead,
work to become a trusted leader. A leader by
definition is someone who has followers. And
following is 100% voluntary. A trusted leader
is someone who people follow because they
trust them to lead the team to success. When
people trust the leader then they feel they
have a choice to be a part of the team. And
the leader can offer clear direction, problem
solving and decision making when needed.

Root Cause #4:
Loss of Momentum
When everyone on the team is not in the
boat facing the same direction and rowing
toward project success, the project loses
momentum. The more frustration there is,
the more loss of momentum you will have.
Frustration is caused when the team goes
forward but keeps getting pulled back. Soon
the project is behind schedule and communication switches to finger pointing, causing
even more loss of momentum.
Tip: Resolve issues quickly
Teams start out and gain momentum
over time. When problems and issues arise,
it causes a loss of momentum. However, if
the problem or issue is resolved quickly the
momentum is only slightly diminished and
the team continues to move forward and
grow. It is therefore imperative that you have
a clear process for resolving issues quickly.
This process needs to be known and used

by all. One such process is to agree to disagree on an issue and then empower a new
set of people to look at it so they can offer
their ideas for resolution. Give these new
people the power to decide. Then move on.
Indecision is your enemy.

Root Cause #5:
Dissatisfaction
Research shows that when project teams
look forward to going to their jobs (the level
of job satisfaction is high) the project is highly
likely to be on time and on budget. When the
project teams "dread" going to work, the project is in deep trouble. When a project is not
fun to be on and a sense of dread appears,
communication between project team members will be strained at best.
Tip: Build in fun
Teams that have "fun" perform better. And
you can build in the fun. It is important to
take time to laugh and enjoy each other. I
have seen teams that play golf, have barbecues,
share a joke at the start of each meeting and
learn to fish together. These were top performing teams. So monitor the level of "fun" on
your team and work to ensure that your team
is having fun together.

Root Cause #6:
Lack of Commitment
When people aren't really committed to the
success of your project you have "slack." This
is like slack in a rope. You don't have a strong
team focused on what it will take to succeed.
Inadequate resources can also cause "slack."
The project team loses faith it can achieve
the project goals. Lack of communication is
usually the result.
Tip: Manage the level of stress
Some people are just along for the ride and
are not really committed to the success of
your project. This causes enormous stress on

the other team members. Sometimes you can't
do much to get rid of the lack of commitment,
but you can monitor and manage the level of
stress that the team encounters. Teams come
together to accomplish something, so there
needs to be celebrations along the way (perhaps at each milestone) of accomplishment.

Root Cause #7:
Unconscious Incompetence
Inexperienced staff can face a very steep
learning curve. Even one inexperienced
person in a key role can cause havoc on
your project. That person just doesn't know
what he or she doesn't know, so he or she
focuses on what is available: the specifications, contract and drawings. That person
must learn how to resolve specific project problems as they occur. Often, documentation becomes the focus instead of
problem solving.
Tip: Be open to mentoring
Both experienced and inexperienced team
members must be open to the possibility of
sharing knowledge. Having a mentor can
shorten the learning curve for new hires by
decades. Too often new people are sent to do
the grunt work or sent into the project like
lambs to the slaughter. These are not very
effective ways to deal with people who need to
learn. For those of you who are new, you must
accept that others who have been around for
some time have seen a few more things than
you have. You don't need to know everything.
Your job is to learn.
By knowing the root cause of your communication problems, you can vastly improve
your chance for team success. The best way
to uncover communication problems and
their root cause is by conducting a monthly
measurement on how well the team is communicating and working together.
■
Copyright 2017, Sue Dyer. Dyer is president
of OrgMetrics LLC in Livermore, CA. She
can be reached at 925-449-8300 or by
email at suedyer@orgmet.com. Dyer has
more than 30 years of experience in assisting
construction firms improve their relationships
with owners, architects, contractors and
subcontractors. In Part Two of this series,
to appear in the next edition of Concrete
InFocus, Dyer discusses how to build a
foundation of trust in business dealings.
concrete INFOCUS

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29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017

From the President’s Desk
Corporate Suite
Enviroscene
2017 National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Fleet Benchmarking and Costs Survey
The Root Causes of Poor Communication
Insulating Concrete Forms for Commercial Construction
Engineering: Specifying for Performance
View from Capitol Hill: State of Play of U.S. Infrastructure
2017 Service & Supply Buyers’ Guide
2017 Products & Services Suppliers Guide
Index of Advertisers
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - Intro
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - bellyband1
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - bellyband2
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - cover1
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - cover2
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 3
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 4
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 5
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 6
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 7
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 8
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - From the President’s Desk
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 10
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - Corporate Suite
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 12
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 13
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - Enviroscene
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 15
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 16
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 17
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 2017 National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Fleet Benchmarking and Costs Survey
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 19
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 20
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 21
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 22
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 23
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 24
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 25
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - The Root Causes of Poor Communication
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 27
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 28
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 29
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - Insulating Concrete Forms for Commercial Construction
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 31
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 32
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 33
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 34
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 35
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 36
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 37
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 38
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 39
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - Engineering: Specifying for Performance
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 41
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 42
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 43
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - View from Capitol Hill: State of Play of U.S. Infrastructure
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 45
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 46
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 2017 Service & Supply Buyers’ Guide
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 48
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 49
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 50
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 2017 Products & Services Suppliers Guide
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 52
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - 54
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - cover3
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - cover4
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC1
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC2
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC3
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC4
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC5
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC6
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC7
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC8
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC9
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC10
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC11
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC12
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC13
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC14
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC15
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC16
Concrete inFocus - Fall 2017 - OC17
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