Building a foundation of respect - Part 9

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

The challenges:

  • Understanding the importance of effective listening skills in "inclusive" communication.
  • Developing effective listening skills that help to eliminate barriers across genders, backgrounds or orientations.
  • The fast pace and working conditions on a construction worksite may present obstacles to effective listening.

The solutions:

  • Recognize that effective listening is a factor in "inclusive" communication across genders, backgrounds or orientations.
  • Provide training to all workers to develop competency in effective listening.

Active listening is a technique of effective listening that can help to resolve workplace issues. In a diverse workplace, this may mean understanding a point of view from different genders, backgrounds and orientations.

10 techniques to improve your "active listening" skills:

  1. Motivate yourself to listen.
  2. Block out distractions.
  3. Separate content, feeling and the underlying message, and concentrate on each element separately.
  4. Do not judge the speaker or what you are hearing.
  5. Respect the other person's feelings and ideas.
  6. Do not provide advice or solve the other person's problem.
  7. Stop talking: this includes the words spoken in your head.
  8. Listen with the intent to focus on what you need to know in order to solve the issue.
  9. Refuse to blame.
  10. Listen for possibilities of a new or third option.


OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Developing effective verbal communication in a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Previous installment: Developing effective communication skills to create and sustain a respectful and inclusive workplace.



  • BuildForce Canada. "Communication, Negotiation, Conflict Resolution." Construction E-Learning Centre. Available at
  • English, Laura M. and Sarah Lynn. Business Across Cultures: Effective Communication Strategies. 1995. Longman, New York, U.S.A.


Have you ever caught your mind wandering when listening to someone?
What methods do you use to prevent that?

Remembrance Day 2017 We remember the sacrifices that Canadian men & women have made and continue to make for our freedom and peace around the world.


Status of Women Canada logo
This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.