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The Electrical Contractors' Association of City of Chicago (ECA) Research and Education Committee is proud to present a series of educational videos facilitated by Mr. Norb Slowikowski, Slowikowski & Associates.  Norb's years of experience consulting in the Construction Industry will prove vital for any Foreman in the electrical arena.  The videos are extensions of the "Electrical Project Supervision Training Programs" that were conducted by Norb specifically for the ECA.  We hope you enjoy the sessions.  A synopsis of content and a link for each video are provided below.


Video One:  The Supervisory Role of the Foreman - Transition Into Management

1.      This video explains what it takes to transition from doing work to managing projects and leading people           to successful job completion.

2.      This module emphasizes the importance of effectively executing the FAT System of skills needed for               great leadership.

               ·       Functional:  planning, organizing, directing and controlling

               ·       Adaptive:  leadership skills

               ·       Technical:  what it takes to do the actual work on the job

       Learning these techniques helps you become a better leader, organizer, and manager on the job.

3.      Putting it all together enhances worker productivity which is the path to maximizing profits and creating           a positive work climate.



Video highlights, include the following:

Video One - The Supervisory Role of the Foreman

This overall video explains how to attain the skills you need to be an effective leader.  As a leader over the people who do the work.  If you can't lead effectively, it will have a negative effect on productivity.  Without proper management and leadership, people flounder, jobs run off schedule, costs increase, and productivity is diminished.  You will learn how to create valued members of a team that move forward in an optimum direction to increase profits.


Three Cost Factors

This component of the video discusses the importance of how to focus on productivity on the job.  If you don't focus on productivity, profits are diminished.  This section also focuses on what the Project Manager role is on the job as well as the Foreman's role on the job. 

The viewer should be able to understand the idea of productivity as the path to profit and how to achieve that outcome.  Also, if you value profits, you will value your people.


Profit & Productivity Requirements

This component of the video highlights the idea:  if you want a high level of productivity, you need to be on a journey to excellence with key processes in place.   Striving for perfection should be the standards.  This is unattainable, but will put you on a path to continuous improvement.  Having uniform processes in place is the key for all facets of the job.

The viewer should be able to understand that profits are fragile.  The video illuminates the tools you need to master the day to day to your full potential.


Productivity Model

This component of the video stresses the importance of a framework around which to operate at an optimal level.  This includes the correct processes and controls.  Without structure, people flounder.  Being in a supervisory role should not be about putting out fires every day, it should be about focusing on quality work.

The viewer should be able to understand the entire Productivity Model and how it will help them concentrate on excellence on the job.


FAT System

This component of the video illustrates the point:  if you don't have the right skills, you won't be productive.  FAT Skills are all the things you need to be an effective leader on the job. 

F - Functional Skills (organizing, planning).  A - Adaptive Skills (leadership, getting people to do the work to their best abilities). T - Technical (the hands-on tasks you already know how to do).

When one moves from a worker to a supervisor, you need more than the technical skills that got you there, you need to know how to plan and you need to know how to lead your people.

The viewer should be able to understand the necessity of mastering the FAT System to be an effective leader.  Most people don't magically know how to lead, and many don't self-teach leadership skills.  The FAT System is a simple way to break down all the leadership skills you need.


Supervisory Role of the Foreman

This component of the video focuses in on the need for supervision of people in the field.  Everyone in a supervisory role needs to do weekly planning to keep the job moving toward the end goal; follow the standards so the job is done in a quality manner; and be a coach, not a critic with the people doing the job.

It isn't easy, but people in the field need supervision and need to be valued.

The viewer should be able to know how to plan, keep standards in place and motivate their people to ignite the "fire within" so the team is excited to do their best work every day.


Worker Productivity

This component of the video illustrates how you need to know more about the people who work for you beyond their skill set.  Understanding a person's values, where they came from, who they are is very important to knowing how to motivate your team members.

The viewer will be able to know what makes their people tick, to look beyond the surface to find out who their team members are as people and performers.


Leadership Behaviors

This component of the video shows the need for the Project Manager and/or Foreman to take charge at all times as a leader, not a meddler.  You need to be a visible leader on the job to achieve the results you desire.  Use positive behavior and you'll get positive results.

The viewer will be able to identify positive performers and negative performers, and have the skills to keep positive performers at the top of their game as well as assisting the negative performers to do a better job.


Leadership Traits

This component of the video is about how you act in front of your team.  Everything starts with the way you act and behave.  People will follow your lead, so it's vital that you display a positive attitude and positive authority on the job.

The viewer will be able to use the 7 Key Leadership Traits as a guide to create belief among team members.  When you create belief among the team, you create power, and power creates desire to do the work to the best of their abilities.



Video Two:  Developing Effective Communication Skills

1.      This video defines the key components of the Communications Process to ensure effective                               communications with all members in the construction process - from job start to job completion.

2.      This module reviews the Speaker/Listening roles with a specific emphasis on the importance of                       feedback and managing conflict with specific strategies.  Learning the techniques exhibited in the                     module will help you to have optimal communication on the job with all team players. 

3.      Effective, open, two-way communication will offset delays on the job and create harmony among all                 team players.

This overall video explains the process to developing effective communication skills on the job.  Talking to others is something we do every single day, most of the time without thought.

But on the job where there are budgets to be adhered to, people to supervise, materials and equipment to be delivered and moved around the job site - you as the manager of all the moving parts must be able to communicate to the best of your ability to achieve the best possible outcomes.



Video highlights, include the following:

Developing Communication Skills

This component of the video provides an overview to the process of communicating effectively with others. Communication is a three-way process:  upward, downward and lateral.  The stage is set to learn all the skills you will need to be a great communicator.

The Role of the Speaker

This component of the video deals with the notion that proper communication is the key to getting what you want from your people.  Any time you can achieve open, honest three-way communication, you will get the results you need from your people.  Don't assume people "know" what you are talking about.  There is a correct way to convey the information you want to get across to the listener.  Different facets of speaking are covered including; voice modulation, non-verbal cues, the importance of feedback, being present on the job site, the art of paraphrasing, and commanding respect from your people.


The Role of the Listener

This component of the video focuses on the person receiving information from the person speaking/giving the information.  The receiving role is as important as the sending role.  If you don't hear what is being said, the correct result will not be achieved.   You will learn the barriers to listening - things that get in the way like emotion, snap judgements, not having the right mind set.  Once barriers are eliminated you can master Active Listening.  When you can clarify the meaning of the message, the communications process will create the right results.



This component of the video shows that without feedback, you can't fix anything.

Feedback is the method to enhance, fix and change what your people are doing or not doing. 

Are you moving in a positive direction?  Are your people on the same page, working together as a team?  You need to let your people know that they are valued members of the team.  Mistakes are learning opportunities.  Feelings aren't right or wrong.  With feedback, you must listen openly and not make assumptions.  Good feedback will get you to the answer.


Communication Styles

This component of the video shows the importance of learning how to talk with different people by using the communication style that works best with a specific personality type.

There are four main types:  Direct, Spirited, Considerate, Systematic.  If you can identify a person's personality style, you can communicate with them on their level.  You will learn the four main styles and how to identify their traits when you are communicating with a member of your team.  


Written Communication

This component of the video illustrates the importance of documentation.  Documentation is the key to proving what you've achieved on the job, and what you need as the job unfolds.  If you want to be paid, write it down.  Today everyone is protecting budgets, proper documentation protects you and your company. 

Various documents that should be used on the job are covered in this segment (Weekly Planning Sheet, Daily Log, Extra Work Authorization, RFI's, Job Site Safety Inspection etc.).


Managing Conflict

This component of the video deals with learning and implementing strategies for resolving conflict.

The Six Step Method for Resolving Conflict serves as a guide as to assist you through a conflict situation.

Proper use of each step will help you to resolve the conflict as it happens, and end up with a positive outcome.

The six steps serve as a path to logic, not emotion.  Always find out what the other person wants from you, that way you will know if you can authorize what they want, or if you need to negotiate for a win/win outcome.  Creating a partnership with the General Contractor and other trades on the job is what you want to achieve at each stage of the construction process.


Ten Steps to Effective Communication

This component of the video provides a final review of the material covered throughout the module. 

These 10 Steps are "must do's" - the steps are not optional.  These steps are the things you need to do to create harmony on the job and in turn, create a profitable job.  Remember sending, receiving and understanding are the components you need for successful communication.



Video Three:  Performance Management - The Power of Motivation

1.      This video clearly defines how to develop motivation power and a positive work climate so that people             like coming to work every day, and in turn, do their best work.

2.      This module clearly defines what motivation is all about with emphasis on identifying the internal driving           forces of the various personality types that takes them to peak performance.  When you know how to               motivate others, people will follow.  Great managers know their people.

3.      Through effective motivation, self-mastery occurs.  The result is team members taking positive action to           achieve positive results.



Video highlights, include the following:

Video Three - Performance Management - The Power of Motivation

This overall video explains the process to finding out how to get yourself and your team members motivated on the job.  Learn about the internal driving factors that make you excited about what you do every day.  Find out techniques to motivate your people to do their best work.  Finally learn how to be connected to your boss to get the support you need to get the job done.


Motivational Mind Set

This component of the video discusses the biggest motivator of all - the desire to do a good job.

If you don't have what you need every day, you won't be motivated to do your work.  You need support from your supervisor, support to get the materials you need when you need them, and support to be given a voice in the decision-making process.


Motivating Factors

In this component of the video, the discussion centers around the driving factors of motivation: What makes you want to do work that is interesting, challenging and with meaning?

Find out what you need from others to do your best work.  Provide positive feedback to the crew members you need to be top performers. 

What people can see is what will get you noticed, no one can know what is inside your head.

If you want a promotion - you need to work to the best of your ability at all times.  If you want to control your own work, you need to know the standards of accountability.  


Demotivating Factors

This component of the video deals with the negative aspects that discourage people from doing their best work.  Elements like lack of fair pay, poor working conditions, poor supervision, negative work climate all factor in to whether you will be motivated to do the work at your optimal ability.  Top performers will never put up with negative conditions.  If you aren't in the right job, you need to find a way to find the right job.  Always stay connected to your boss, developing a partnership is key.


Internal Driving Factors

This component of the video focuses on what makes you tick, who are you really?

Driving factors like:

·       Beliefs:  who you are, where you come from, what you learn -- we are all programmed.

·       Values:  what is important to you?  Your values are motivators, you need to identify them so you can find                satisfying work.

Learn how to identify your internal driving forces and how they fit with your job.  If you don't feel good about yourself, you won't feel good about what you are doing.


Become a Peak Performer

This component of the video is about the best ways to work to your potential on the job.

The Right Fuel:  Make sure you attain the right skills and knowledge to succeed.

Results-driven: Get the job done and get it done right. 

Pathfinder:  Set the course on the job with organization and communication to achieve the goals at hand.

Visionary:  Look toward the future to see what is ahead of you as the job progresses.

Finally, learn what basic human needs you require to not just survive, but thrive in your job.


Behavioral Tendencies

This component of the video focuses on personality styles and how to identify the personality style of yourself and the people you interact with on the job. You could be a mixture of several driving forces, personalities are developed between 5-10 years old.  Between 4-18 is imprinting process, it's all you take in, absorbing, and locks in at 18.  Knowing your personality, helps you to identify what motivates you. Each type is a window into who you are.  There are four basic personality types: D - Dominant, I - Influencer/High Interest in People, S -Steady, and C - Competent.  Learn the traits of each and see where you fall as a personality style, and also identify other styles in the people you work with daily.


Helping People Improve Performance

This component of the video deals with how to identify performance problems on the job and how to fix them.  A person's work needs to be satisfying.  When performance is below standard, you need to look at the following: 

         ·       Is it a behavior issue?

         ·       Is it something the workplace is not providing?

         ·       Is it a lack of communication of the standards required on the job?

Once the reasons behind substandard performance, you can correct the behavior.

Keep in mind that internal driving forces never go away. You need to fill your time with things that let you be you.


Tips for Communicating

This component of the video discusses the tips for communicating with different personality types.

Each type is different.  If you know who you are dealing with, then you'll know how to talk to them. 

Each type from the DiSC (Dominant, Influencer, Steady, Competent) have specific tendencies to learn and use to your advantage in any discussion.  Accept people for who they are.  Relationships are weakened when you try to change someone.  



Video Four:  Getting Organized

1.      The video defines the key components of the Organizing Process and the Key Job Controls that need             to be in place for the Four Phases of the Construction Process:

                ·       Job is Sold

                ·       Job Preparation & Planning

                ·       Job in Progress

                ·       Job Close Out

2.      This module identifies the keys to project success and what it takes to create a structure for eliminating           chaos and confusion on the job site.  These techniques will help you to design your own flow for                       organization on a given job.

3.      A well-organized job creates synergy among all team players that creates a win/win relationship with              the General Contractor and other trades on the job.



Video highlights, include the following:


Video Five:  Building Teamwork

1.      This video emphasizes the importance of building teamwork through the effective implementation of the           Ten Building Blocks that takes the idea of teamwork from a myth to a reality.

2.      This module clearly defines how to build relationships of trust and utilize synergistic approaches that               maximize productivity and profitability for the Sub-contractor and the General Contractor.  These                     techniques help you to build a cohesive unit to complete the job on time.

3.      Teamwork is the name of the game, always.  When you implement problem-solving, accountability, and           clearly defined roles, you have everyone working together toward the common goal of doing and                     completing the job successfully.



Video highlights, include the following:


Video Six - Maximize Optimal Customer Relations

1.      This video explains how to make the customer satisfaction a daily reality by implementing a Customer             Service Action Plan.

2.      This module defines how to implement a strong internal customer focus among all team members that             will ultimately impress our external customers - the General Contractor.  The Sub-contractor becomes             the hub of activity and influence on the job.  Developing great customer service techniques, creates a             positive work environment and positive work relationships.

3.      The focus is to turn customer satisfaction into lasting customer enthusiasm and support.  It's a dynamic           way of interacting with customers that makes an indelible impression.  It's all about contact leadership.



Video highlights, include the following:

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