5 keys to building successful engineering relationships

Categories: 

January 15, 2021

Civil engineering is nothing without context.

That means community.

And community means communication.

But how can civil engineers successfully form successful relationships with the members of the communities their projects serve?

ASCE Orange County Younger Member Forum Past-President Jazzy Principe, A.M.ASCE, a project manager and executive advisor at Jacobs, offered some tips for building successful engineering relationships Jan. 26 as part of ASCE Younger Member Week, a weeklong series of professional development and networking events for young engineers.

Here are Principe’s five keys to building successful engineering relationships:

1. Be a good listener

  • Practice active listening
  • Take mental or physical notes
  • Pay attention to their delivery
  • Visualize what’s being said
  • Have empathy
  • Eliminate distractions

“I had a teacher in elementary school who always said, ‘God was intentional in designing our bodies to have two ears and one mouth – and that’s so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.’ And that always resonated with me,” Principe said.

2. Immerse yourself in diversity

  • Diversify your network
  • Open up seats at your table
  • Get to know your team and work environment
  • Practice the Platinum Rule – treat others how they want to be treated

“Add more crayon colors to your crayon box. Don’t just color with the same eight crayons, that’s too basic,” Principe said. “You at least want the 24-pack. And you get that by actively seeking people who are different “shades” from you – people of different ages, cultures, areas of expertise, and roles in your organization. You really don’t know what you don’t know, until you start talking with people outside of your normal circle.”

3. Be an octopus

  • Adapt to your audience and surroundings
  • Be prepared to change your communication style
  • Tailor your content to your audience
  • Reframe how you view negotiation
  • Be clear about expectations

What’s super cool about octopuses is that they’re able to change their color to blend in with their surroundings. Not only that, but they can also change their skin texture to match too!” Principe said.

4. Invest in yourself

  • Know your superpowers
  • Know your weaknesses
  • Know your boundaries
  • Prioritize and protect your health
  • Be intentional about how you spend your time and with whom
  • Exercise self-discipline

“Do some introspection. What do you see in your reflection? What experience can you bring to the table? What makes you, you? What’s your secret sauce?” Principe said.

5. Lift as you rise

  • Be a “force multiplier” – bring positivity and enthusiasm
  • Have perpetual optimism
  • Don’t waste your seat at the table
  • Help others shine
  • Create a ripple effect

“I learned this from one of my biggest role models at Jacobs, Heather Wishart-Smith. She always said that you’re never too early in your career to mentor, inspire, and assist others. And that when you succeed, always lift others up with you. Because people will forget what you said and did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel,” Principe said.

Learn more about ASCE Younger Member Week.

Connect with Jazzy.

The post 5 keys to building successful engineering relationships appeared first on Civil Engineering Source.

More Articles

Welcoming our Newest Environmental Scientist

Welcoming our Newest Environmental Scientist

Welcome to the Team! Madison Rosen has joined Mountain Waterworks’ corporate office in Boise, Idaho as an Environmental Scientist, where she will facilitate environmental reviews, support groundwater supply planning, and develop water and wastewater system mapping...

Welcoming our Newest Infrastructure Specialist

Welcoming our Newest Infrastructure Specialist

Welcome to the Team! Zach Cox has joined Mountain Waterworks’ corporate office in Boise, Idaho as an Infrastructure Specialist. Mr. Cox will provide support during planning efforts, constructability review during design, and on-the-ground resources during...

PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Post-Disaster Funding for Emergency Repairs Procured for Yellow Pine, Idaho Boise, Idaho, August 2021 - The Yellow Pine Water Users Association’s (YPWUA) public drinking water system (PWS) encountered severe damage and disruption to service area residents and...

How to remedy five management flaws and create resilient teams

How to remedy five management flaws and create resilient teams

Jennifer L. Donahue, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, is the founder of JL Donahue Engineering — a globally recognized seismic analysis and engineering firm. With her 25 years in the U.S. Navy, she is well qualified to offer advice for how engineers can use lessons learned from...

How wet is your wetland?

How wet is your wetland?

In April 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the Federal Register that finalized a revised definition of which waters are considered “jurisdictional waters” in the United...

How I aced the P.E. exam

How I aced the P.E. exam

With the next round of P.E. and S.E. exams approaching, it’s nearly crunch time for those seeking professional licensure this spring. But even if you’re not a test-taker this April, it may be something you’ve considered for a while or have looked forward to at some...

Now is (finally) the time to future-proof our infrastructure

Now is (finally) the time to future-proof our infrastructure

Constantine Samaras, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, is the director of the Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation at Carnegie Mellon University, an adjunct senior researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, and past chair of ASCE’s Committee on...