With any job, there can be a tendency to rush to get things done. Employees and managers alike are not typically recognized for getting things right, but for getting things done fast.
In the rush to complete a construction project on time or ahead of schedule, workers are prone to making mistakes or misunderstanding directions. Therefore, it is essential for those in the construction industry to constantly be thinking on their feet about the task at hand.
You may not associate critical thinking with the construction industry, but the idea basically boils down to ‘thinking things through’ in order to avoid mistakes. Critical thinking means gathering all of the facts necessary to investigate a scenario, considering solutions to a problem and getting feedback from others. All of these steps lead to better solutions and fewer mistakes.
Rather than mindlessly going about their business, you should be regularly collaborating with others. A critical thinker understands how to evaluate instructions. If you understand details from numerous angles without making assumptions, you’re less prone to go along with bad information.
Your thought process should cause you to question, confirm and maybe even adapt your methods. At the construction site, this is crucial because each worker is accountable for making sure that their knowledge of the task at hand is correct.
Evaluating the Work
Developing a good product demands a critical eye and a desire to check it for faults. Critical thinkers are constantly thinking about a final product, even after it has been completed. This kind of thinking is essential to sustaining high standards for the company.
Without critical thinkers, a construction crew will be stuck in mediocrity. Research has shown human thought can be flawed with personal bias and assumptions, and critical thinking helps you recognize and correct flaws for the next job. For example, you may feel biased about a project because you helped build it, but thinking critically around it will help you examine it objectively.
Thinking on your feet also helps to drive innovation on the job. A critical thinker is aware of issues and flaws, and thinks about creative methods to address them. Occasionally this leads to new technology, a new system or some kind of idea that ends up being a winner. Critical thinking is vital if you want your crew to surpass the competition and have long-term success.
A workplace without critical thinking leads to workers who are stuck in their ways, who are unwilling to try someone else’s idea or a new modern approach. This causes discomfort and disagreements.
You should be helping develop a workplace where discussion encourages new ideas. Critical thinking encourages empathy and a positive awareness among workers. When confronted with a conflict, employees should be setting aside egos and talking about solutions that respect various positions.