In this episode, the eighth episode in our Civil Engineering Entrepreneurs Series, I talk to Kevin Riggs, P.E., President & CEO at Cole Design Group, Inc. about growing a civil engineering company and developing your team. He also shares a very interesting story of how he went from an employee to owner of a large firm in just 60 days.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Kevin:
This is a guest blog by author Rae Taylor, one of EMI’s Civil Engineering Collective Content Contributors
It’s always been known that having kids can be detrimental to a woman’s career. There is more research that can be cited here that women pay a price for having a family, whether it be reduced promotional prospects or a complete loss of career.
Maybe this is why I’ve always been told not to talk about having or wanting kids. I’ve even been advised to not mention being married and of childbearing age. One charming man once told me he wasn’t going to teach me anything because I would get myself pregnant and then have to leave, so what was the point? Side note here: I taught him Excel, Word, and some other software, but I guess being months from retirement, which he talked about constantly, he wasn’t going to go get himself pregnant, so I was safe in the knowledge that my efforts wouldn’t be wasted.
In the interest of never talking about having kids, let’s talk about motherhood instead, and if that should be on resumes. I haven’t been thinking about this at all while applying for jobs. I’ve been thinking about selling myself in the best possible light to all possible employers. But then the BBC asked me if motherhood belongs on a resume. I said “Yes, it does!’’ But I said it in the way you do when what you mean it, “Someone else should do that and break that glass ceiling for all the mothers out there, but not me, because I actually want a job.”
In this episode, we talk to Peter Vanderzee, President and CEO at LifeSpan Technologies, about his career journey and experience transitioning from electronics to chemical to environmental to geotechnical and then finally to structural engineering. He also shares some great strategies and tips for the startup engineering business owner.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Peter:
In this episode, we talk to Mark Wainwright, principal, and owner at Wainwright Insight about building your skills as a sales engineer. He also discusses what firms can do to help increase their team’s sales skills and confidence to help grow their businesses.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Building Your Skills as a Sales Engineer:
“This is what I NEED them to do,” a client said during our call recently. I had to squash the groan that was trying to escape my mouth.
The words and the tone of voice this client used were enough to ensure that “they” were not at all likely to do what she wanted them to do. “They” were her peers. She was asserting authority that she didn’t have.
Here are steps you can take to have successful conversations that don’t turn into unnecessary conflict.
Look At the Words You Use
“I need,” “I want,” and “you should” are good ways to send a conversation downhill before you’ve really gotten started.
When you use those expressions, you come across as a dictator. The persons you’re talking at — not with — can feel belittled, bullied, run over, and more. They’ll possibly end up thinking you’re a jerk.
In this episode, I talk to Luke Turko, P.E., the Director of Geotechnical Services for Navarro & Wright Consulting Engineers, Inc (also known as N&W), about how you can make the most out of opportunities that present themselves to you in your engineering career.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Luke:
In this episode, which is part of our Women in Civil Engineering series, I talk to Hannah Albertus-Benham, a Senior Water Resources and Environmental Engineer at Wood, about the challenges of working in a highly scientific project with real impacts on a community, as well as harnessing teamwork, communications, and collaboration to be successful.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Hannah:
This is a blog by Jeff Perry, MBA
The right kind of conflict can actually build trust and increase performance in teams! In fact, I would say that one of the best indicators of a team that trusts each other is the amount of conflict in the team.
Positive, healthy conflict happens when we can challenge each other in real ways, be open and honest, and collaborate more effectively.
Disagreements Are Normal and Should Be Encouraged
There is no situation or team that is going to sail through all projects and tasks without ever disagreeing with each other. Yet one of the things that can build divisions and trouble in a teams faster than anything is when people don’t feel heard and able to express disagreements, especially with leaders.
In this episode, we talk to Mark Kaiser, S.E., a senior associate at RLG Consulting Engineers, about tilt-up construction and shelter designs. He elaborates on the difference between tilt-up and precast and also talks about what he thinks the future holds for shelter design.