Typically, people are hired for their technical skills on the technical side of the construction business. But when they move up to management, a different skillset and perspective are demanded—ones that don’t always come naturally and need to be taught.

Challenge

A large, national construction company promoted someone from the technical side of projects to a division management position, and he was struggling.

Firm leaders wanted the new manager to become more of a seller/doer and to improve his leadership skills. The new manager was also interested in doing this and taking a more active role in business development activities.

While coaching was not what he thought it would be—he was expecting the process to be more business-transactional—once he began the process, he was surprised to find new skills in himself, ones that had an impact on his personal and professional development.

Insight

Professional coaching in leadership, business development, and interpersonal skills can make the transition to a management role a smoother, more successful one.

The first part of the process is self-awareness—finding blind spots. To do that, we asked the new manager many questions about how he handles situations and people and also interviewed people around him. All of the feedback we got went into a plan with specific goals and exercises to improve his skills. For example, we suggested he take an improvisation class, which he agreed to immediately.

Action

Our client has grown into his role as a manager, and continues to learn ways to be more effective.

The client’s co-workers say he is much more accessible. He is more open, has an easier time expressing himself, and is building relationships with new clients—all improvements the coaching was designed to address. He has become so enthusiastic about what he’s learning and doing that he regularly shares it with his leadership team.