Building a foundation of respect - Part 8 | BuildForce Canada

Building a foundation of respect - Part 8

Developing effective communication skills to create and sustain a respectful and inclusive workplace in construction

How to be an effective communicator in a respectful and inclusive workplaceThe challenges:

  • Promoting open and respectful communication among people of different genders, races, backgrounds and experience.  
  • Building awareness that communication is a skill set that can be learned and developed.
  • Creating a learning environment that encourages workers to improve communication in the workplace.

The solutions:

  • Recognize that effective communication is a tool to encourage cooperation and collaboration among workers of all backgrounds.
  • Recognize that effective communication in a diverse workplace must be "inclusive."
  • Provide training to all workers to develop competency in "inclusive" communication.

The qualities of an "inclusive" communicator: The right Mind Set, Heart Set and Skill Set

The Right Mind set:

  • understanding that each of us has a perspective based on our gender, race, culture, background, experience and so on
  • being knowledgeable about the key differences of gender, race, culture, background and experience of others

The Right Heart set:

  • having the desire to be an effective communicator with others who are different
  • being open, curious and non-judgemental of different values, attitudes and behaviours

The Right Skill set:

  • having awareness of the differences that gender, race, culture, background and experience can bring to a situation
  • managing your own response and adapting your communication style for mutual benefit


OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Inclusive communication starts with "listening to understand"

Previous installment: What it means to treat people as professionals.



  • BuildForce Canada. "Communication, Negotiation, Conflict Resolution." Construction E-Learning Centre. Available at
  • English, Shannon M. and Sarah Lynn. Business Across Cultures. 1995. Longman, New York, U.S.A.
  • Shannon Stucky. "Chris Hadfield: An Astronaut's Guide to Communications." Well Said Communications Inc., March 7, 2014. Retrieved from:


How does your own communication style affect your relationships with co-workers?


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This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.