The Desirable Skills & Qualities Of Construction Management Professionals


In a previous insight, we discussed the key differences between the roles of the Project and Construction Manager. We argued that the Project Manager was more suited toward meeting and satisfying the needs of the Client, whilst the Construction Manager played a more defined role in the management of the construction site and ensuring safe, compliant, timely, and quality works.

The management of any construction project is typically accompanied by its own specific requirements and challenges and do often include regular meetings with the Project Manager and other key stakeholders, preparing and submitting regular schedules, ensuring that the works are completed in accordance with applicable codes and standards, keeping the site and its people both safe and secure, negotiating contracts for the supply of materials and services, maximizing productivity, and keeping the project within budget.

Despite the processes, systems, methodologies, and tools used in construction being well defined and fairly consistent over time, we have recognized that the Construction Manager’s success within the role can be better achieved through superior people skills and proper functioning. Of course, having the right mix of training, education, knowledge, leadership capability, and experience certainly helps. Having reflected upon the quality and capabilities of the Construction Managers that we have worked with in the past, there are several skills and qualities that we would like to see developed within them and many others throughout the local and regional construction industries, going forward. They include:

  • An ability to not only envision the project and its activities in significant detail, but to clearly convey them to others, in terms of the various phases, deliverables, and requirements.

  • Being able to demonstrate a level of commitment, consistency, and focus to the project.

  • The leadership ability to provide direction and support, assist supervisors and staff, and motivate others to complete directives in a timely manner. This should be underpinned by a humble (being mindful, genuine, and respectful of others) and balanced approach (knowing when to turn up the heat in order to achieve desired results).

  • Having a clear understanding of the risks involved with the works and ensuring that the appropriate safety and security systems and measures are instituted and adhered to by everyone, thereby reducing the possibility of accidents, injuries, and losses in productivity.

  • Being truly appreciative of the need to manage the project and its schedule and collaborate with the design, safety, procurement, and management teams on key decisions which may affect quality, productivity, and costs.

  • Demonstrable and excellent communication skills evidenced through the usage of appropriate tools and techniques such as monthly reports, construction schedules, change orders, email, chat groups, and site instructions, to name a few; being clear, concise, and truthful in the information shared with others; and receiving and incorporating feedback where possible.

  • An ability to effectively lead and not micromanage. Construction managers should delegate works to their assistant managers or supervisors and other team members, following up in a timely manner to ensure performance and results.

  • Having the capacity to not only remain positive, energetic, and self motivated throughout the course of the works, but encourage others to do the same as well.

  • Exercising a breadth and depth of knowledge about all facets of construction including the various tools, techniques, and processes to be engaged, along with any emerging technologies which can redound to team members becoming more comfortable with assigned tasks and expected outcomes.

  • Finally, the ability to accept full responsibility when things did not go right or turn out as planned, not blaming or pointing the finger at others. When the project is successfully completed, Construction Managers should openly recognize the hard work, focus, commitment, and input of all involved.