Top Four Essential Skills for Construction Project Sites

Project Sites are complex social environments. Site policies that try and capture policies of the stakeholders in all directions including owners, subcontractors, consultants and suppliers means negotiation is present well over 50% of the day, regardless of what contracts are signed and what terms and conditions are contemplated prior to a shovel going in the ground.

This course will cover the following topics:

Productivity: Learn how to assess your site productivity. For example, how are you currently evaluating your productivity? Are you relying on subcontractors to self-evaluate? Do you evaluate what is causing impact and stacking? A good change order protocol and analysis of your site productivity will provide insight into how to solve and avoid future problems. Knowing how to evaluate productivity on-the spot or via field ratings can be critical to project success.

  • Learn how to evaluate job site efficiency via field ratings and how to apply them on your site
  • 7 Barriers to Construction Productivity gap (as defined by McKinsey & Company)
  • Develop a plan to implement productivity improvements and how to present it to senior management

Negotiating: Learn how to negotiate in good faith towards mutual problem solving, instead of the adversarial/win-lose approach that leads to poor relationships and results.

  • Bargaining styles – distributive bargaining and integrative bargaining
  • How to identify BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)
  • Learn how to apply each bargaining style when confronted with a negotiation (as designed and used in Harvard's Program on Negotiation)
  • Learn and apply bargaining techniques to use in close-quarter, internal team situations, as well as external bargaining in competitive environments.


  • How to identify non-verbal communication cues in a face-to-face team environment
  • 7 key skills when using your own voice to communicate
  • How to speak so people will listen
  • What communication approach to use when communicating in all directions - from peer to peer, versus to client, versus to a project stakeholder/trade partner


  • Understand the circle of safety theory and trust split theory
  • Learn how to apply leadership theories in developing and coaching site teams/team members
  • Learn how to apply leadership theories in challenging situations with various stakeholders

This course will unlock the secrets behind negotiating in good faith in all directions, versus distributive bargaining which leads to a poor result. Communication both internally and externally and refining the human skills needed to be an effective communicator means better results in a dispute or negotiating an outcome. Ask yourself, how you are assessing productivity and if you need better tools? Are you relying on subcontractors to self-evaluate or are you even evaluating what is causing impact and stacking. A good change order protocol and analysis of productivity may give insight into how to solve and avoid future problems. Software is not the whole answer, knowing how to evaluate on-the spot, or using field ratings can be critical. Leadership, is it a rank or a decision at any level of an organization? This course will explore the very human skills and traits that great leaders need. We will explore the circle of safety and the split where trust stresses out your job site partners and how you can minimize disruption.

Who Should Attend: Project Coordinators, Project Managers, Site Superintendents, Foremen/women, Contract Administrators

What’s included: Includes several links to resource materials and the detailed slide deck.

Sep. 12, 14, 19 & 21, 2023 Tue. & Thu. 1pm - 4:30pm ET
Instructor-led Live Webinar
Derek A. Smith
TCA member:
INSTRUCTOR: Derek A. Smith

Derek Smith is considered one of Canada's leading facilitators of construction and design industry workshops. With over 3750 attendees at his in-class sessions since 2013 when he established Constructionlab, his rating for delivery of content, teaching style, insight and expertise averages 4.5 out of 5 of over 500 attendees surveyed. Derek has transitioned his classroom format to on-line LIVE Sessions with over 55 hours delivered in April 2020 alone, all averaging 4.5 or better out of 5 for content, delivery method and style, insight and expertise. His company Constructionlab maintains memberships with the Institute for performance and Learning, the Toronto Construction Association and the London Chamber of Commerce.