Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

Last week, we looked at the ‘selfies’ of emotional intelligence – self-awareness and self-regulation. This week, our theme is the MESS (Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills) – the three other main elements of emotional intelligence. This MESS will help us avoid a lot of relational mess!

Finding whatever it is that motivates you is important. Is it satisfaction in your work? The ability to provide a good lifestyle for yourself and the people you love? Is it an intrinsic work ethic?

But that motivation isn’t enough on its own. We need to be empathetic to others – supporting our teammates, challenging others who are acting unfairly, and genuinely listening to people. There’s an old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason: we should listen twice as much as we talk. Good advice!

Finally, working on our social skills is key to personal success. If this is a struggle, start small – ask open-ended questions (and listen carefully to their response) and offer genuine compliments freely (almost everyone loves a compliment!). These little steps can help build your confidence and skillset.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.