Emotionally Competent Site Manager

Go Home                                                                                                                                                    Go to Lean Transformation

How do you begin a lean transformation for a contractor with a traditional system of management? How do you apply Last Planner, cost loading, flow-line, BIM, etc.?

Any social, economic and organizational change needs a transformation in the basis and the support of the people who run the corporation or the country. Consequently, the contractors will be first. We have a recent example: lean construction implementation in Peru. We need a new approach.

We are indeed in a change management situation. The Prosci Method is a solution. It seeks to create Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Attitude and Reinforcement in workers. It is called A.D.K.A.R. Getting Things Done is another program taught in IESE Business School, led by Fabrizio Ferraro, but is more useful for multinational corporations.

We really require the site manager as a change leader. I will use the title of Caruso´s book The Emotionally Intelligent Manager to help understanding of his new role: the emotionally-competent site manager for change. Another option would be to create a site team with these qualities, according to the distributed leadership concept; that is to say, the change strategy is run by a team.

The unconscious is affected by our emotions and thoughts. And our conduct get influenced by the unconscious mind. Then, if we are talking about habits, attitudes and behaviours; we must take into account what we are thinking and feeling. In 2007, Adler proved that negative emotions affect the immunological system, and consequently decrease our energy and profitability at work.

The term emotional intelligence has different meanings depending on the researcher, some authors even deny its existence. However, everyone agrees on the importance of emotional competencies, and their development is called emotional education.

There are several emotional competency models at present. Bisquerra´s model is the most integral approach, but the model of nineteen emotional competencies advanced by Goleman, Boyatzis, Mckee (2002) is very useful for corporations:

Competencies related to intelligence emotional

Personal Competencies

 Social Competencies


1. Emotional awareness

2. Accurate self-assesment

3. Self-confidence

Social awareness 

10. Empathy

11. Political awareness

12. Service orientation


4. Self-control

5. Transparency

6. Adaptability

7. Achievement drive

8. Inititative

9. Optimism (Hope)


Social skills

13. Inspired leadership

14. Influence

15. Developing others

16. Change catalyst

17. Conflict Management

18. Building bonds

19. Team capabilities and collaboration

The competencies in red are important for change-management, but other skills are also taken into account, like proactivity, discipline, assertiveness and perseverance.

The next question is how to develop them. First of all, we must know where we are; that is, our level of competency. The following tests are used at business schools and recruitment companies, such as:

-          TCI-R: Cloninger (1994).The test assesses character and the temperament. This psychiatrist emphasises the malleability of character and the invariability of temperament.

-          MSCIT (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso): frequently used around the world for emotional skills.

-          BEI (behavioural event interview): know competencies through life experience.

-          QDE-A (Bisquerra, Pérez, Filella, Soldevila): emotional question paper to discover competencies.

Once we are aware of your emotional competencies, if we wish to improve them or acquire others, you need to practise. According to psychoneuroimmunology, we create our future. Remember the three factors of learning  based in Bartzokis's research: (See kaizen behaviour).

-          Frequency

-          Need

-          Emotion

But the challenge for an emotional education is to demonstrate the economic benefits for companies. In The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace, Daniel Goleman and Cary Cherniss described an algorithm associated with a normal distribution  to show statistically that the effective leaders have more emotional competencies than others, and that these differences are transformed into money. Something similar could be studied on-site from ascertaining the time that the site manager spends at work and the savings created by him (regarding the scheduled cost).


Added Value of site manager =    (A/d) / CD                 where:


A = savings due to the work of the site manager

d = work days of the site manager in the project

CD = Day cost of the site manager

And compare this value with other sites managers' ratios and the emotional competencies of each one. (Although is not easy to obtain the A value objectively.)

Go Home                                                                                                                                                    Go to Lean Transformation