successful project plan
Property Casualty

What Do Your Senses and Successful Project Plans Have in Common?

Paula Dixon
Paula Dixon
Senior Vice President, Property Casualty

Do you know why people clink their wine glasses before their first drink? To ignite each of the senses. The glass is clear to see the color. Your touch can feel the glass and the temperature. Your nose can smell the bouquet of the wine. Just before raising the glass to taste, we “clink” the glass to include your final sense….to hear.

Our sense of hearing can have such an impact. The No. 1 summer hit song when I was a teenager was “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. What was yours? Hearing the song can bring a flood of memories that propel us back to the time period or a memorable moment.

Anyone can hear the words of another, but listening requires full concentration, understanding, responding, and then to remember what has been said. Listening is the key to understanding what others wish to be communicated and the basis for a strong relationship.

Many of us know we should use “active listening skills;” however, we slip into our old habits. These habits are hard to break! It takes a lot of concentration and determination to be an active listener. You must be deliberate with your listening and remind yourself frequently that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying. Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message. Ask questions, reflect, and paraphrase to ensure you understand the message. If you don’t, then you’ll find that what someone says to you and what you hear can be amazingly different!

Now, you might be saying, “How does this relate to Holmes Murphy and Architects and Engineers?” Hang tight…the answer is coming your way.

PSMJ Resources, Inc. surveyed 229 design firms to seek the frequency of firms preparing a written project plan. The results concluded that 48 percent generally do not or rarely prepare a written plan before starting a design project. So, why have a strategy? By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. A good plan would include a documented process which gleans information from team members to communicate and agree on what success looks like so that we may accomplish a mutual goal. See what I mean about how listening is so important?! It lends itself to the greater subject of communication…which is crucial in our world.

Ironically, we’re going to be addressing this very thing in several upcoming seminars. I encourage you to check one of them out by clicking here. We’ll be focusing on creating a successful project execution plan to get great results. And, you guessed it…we’ll be discussing how communication skills are so important in managing schedule and budget expectations on a construction project!

We see a lot in this business, but I’ve found active listening to clients (and just generally using your senses) spells success for everyone. Would you agree? What are your thoughts? What practices do you have in place to create a successful project plan? Does it come down to communication? Let me know! I’m interested in hearing from you. You can either comment below or reach out to me directly.

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