A construction project site incorporates the work of different teams, and is generally a hectic environment. Work crews must maintain a constant pace, deliveries must be on schedule, and timely reports are also part of the process. In this kind of setting, it is not difficult to see how conflicts can arise. In addition to the project manager’s many responsibilities, there will sometimes be a need to handle these conflicts. Here are some of the ways in which a project manager can achieve this.
- Always look for solution. The PM will have to ask a number of questions and attempt to provide answers. This is the first step in assessing the source of the conflict, and finding ways to address it.
- Have discussions. If the parties can step back from the situation and talk openly, a lot can be achieved. They should feel like their views and concerns matter. These discussions can boost morale and generate useful ideas.
- Consider different options. A PM should never be in a hurry to sue a solution without some careful considerations. Comments from others will provide different options that may be worthwhile.
- Learn about the problem. It is impossible to fully resolve a conflict without first understanding the cause. The ability to listen to the concerns of team members will create unity and increase productivity on the jobsite.
- Always get feedback. Take the time to find out what others think, and make them feel like part of the process. If their ideas are useful take the time to consider how they will impact the project. Conflict is less likely if team members feel like they are being heard.
- Open a line of communication. Create clear channels for individuals to come forward with concerns or problems on the jobsite. It will be up to the PM to listen, and to address these issues in a timely manner.
- Be a leader. Ultimately, the project manager is the one in charge, and should therefore not hesitate to give orders where necessary. Some conflicts can be quickly resolved by knowing the right time to step in. If the project manager understands the nature of the problem, it is necessary to step in and halt the conflict to prevent delays.
Jobsite conflicts are not frequent, but the project manager still needs to know how to handle these issues and maintain strong working relationships. More importantly, the PM should not be seen as taking sides, and this can worsen the situation. This is why good communication skills are so important for this career.