On a recent trip with a colleague, we discussed the topic of being helpful. At first, I struggled to determine how being helpful applied to our business as it seems to be more relevant to community service organizations. Yet, as we traveled and discussed this in greater detail, it suddenly became clear; being helpful is actually what Interstates is all about. Being helpful allows us to make connections and build lasting relationships. Some words synonymous with helpful include: supportive, cooperative, obliging, useful, beneficial, and valuable. Now, you may be thinking: enough of the soft skills – you’re in the construction business! But before you stop reading, let me challenge you to answer a few questions on being helpful, then reflect on your responses.
Question 1: Who considers you helpful?
Do your clients or customers consider you helpful? The construction industry is known for being a combative and often ‘dog-eat-dog’ world. However, I think Interstates is different. We don’t want our relationships with clients to be combative. We talk about being solution providers, partners, and difference-makers for our clients. Ultimately, we want to be helpful and build meaningful relationships. So ask yourself right now, or if you are brave enough ask the client directly, does he or she think I am helpful?
Question 2: Would anyone on your team consider you to be helpful?
Ask yourself – does the crew think I am helpful? It is our responsibility to help the next group of team members to become better and make a difference in their careers. Are you helpful to your team?
Question 3: Would partners you work alongside consider you helpful?
Construction is all about how well you handle and manage conflict. Working with partners in a productive and helpful manner will make all of our jobs easier and more enjoyable. Are you being helpful with your partners?
How do you feel about your answers to these questions? If you feel you’re doing well, what are you doing right? How can you share that with others? If you came up short, now is the time to make a change and become more helpful to those around you. What can you try differently? At Interstates, we strive to make a difference in the lives of others – get out there and make a difference!
Dave Los, Interstates Operations Manager