Why it’s important to know how we view other people; a post rationalisation of the “how we see each other” blog.

Last week we posted a blog looking at how people in construction see one another. The blog sparked a lot of comments mostly positive, though one with a word of caution. We thought that this was an important point and decided to take the opportunity to explain why we think we need to look at how we view other people in order to affect the way we treat them.What we see

Love it, thanks! Might use this as part of training for our access group trainees!Flick Harrris

It’s a human trait to desire to put people in neat boxes – it helps us identify, quickly and easily, the perceived dangers and threats; allows us to make on-the-spot decisions about how to react. A lot of the time, this is a useful thing to do that helps us negotiate life quicker and easier. Unfortunately though, much of the  rest of the time this can actually hinder, not only us but also progress in general, and sometimes it takes something like a humorous blog posting to realise just how often it is that we do this. 

Most of us know how difficult life is, how much pressure we are under and what could be done to make life easier if only other people took the time to empathise with our situation. Unfortunately, we do not always afford the same considerations to others and this means we can fail to see the pressure, and even stress, that they are under; this is especially true in sectors where there are a lot of roles set out in a confrontational format – like in the built environment. Here we have separate individuals and companies with different priorities (aesthetics, finance, structure, construction, environment, etc.) in order to arrive at the end product. Of course, each perceives their role to be the most important, which can get in the way of us all working together.

All too true, unfortunately. Whatever happened to working together? AND understanding that if one of the “team” working for the Client, either directly, or indirectly, fails, then ALL fail? Jim Kingston

The only way around this is communication and working together as one – for the project, not the individual roles within it, but as we know procurement routes are sometimes set up to work against this model. Worse still, companies frequently are too – with separate targets for different departments (e.g. quantity surveying and construction), so we probably need to make the effort ourselves. Having spent a year as a QS before becoming a Setting-out Engineer, I understood the importance of

Funny, you could take these same photos, and do the same with many occupations. Great points, though, in that we all think our piece of the puzzle is the most important. We think that we perform best and that other partners are not holding up there part of the bargain Sally Boven

.record keeping for re-measures and valuations, and would therefore make an extra effort to make these available to the QS department. I also used to offer the QS, and QS graduates, an hour on Friday to explain on a walk-around how the site worked as I had always felt this improved their relationships with the sub-contractors, which in turn made my life easier.  …That, and the fact that I liked talking about concrete and drainage – I’m not sure what it is that I like so much about lifting man-hole covers, but it’s a joy! These are just small things, but I recall someone saying “it’s the little things that make a difference.”

Very amusing, due to more than a hint of truth running through it. We all carry prejudice with us every day. In my experience though sub-contractors are treated akin to Dobbie almost universally!
We do tend to generalise our view of individuals according to their role, but should we? Generalisations are a negative influence and representative of lazy-thinking – we should seek to challenge them wherever and whenever we find them. Sheryl Curran 

So why not put aside some time each week, or month as I know we are all busy right now, to help a colleague understand a little more about your role, and how you can work together to meet both of your objectives. I always found giving an hour to someone else usually paid me back in more time saved elsewhere.