In the December 2013 Self-Help Builder I shared a “Self-Help Newby’s” request for advice as a new to the program construction supervisor. An overwhelming number of construction supervisors from eight states throughout our region shared their “one piece of advice” for success in the position. While I was asking what they would recommend to this Newby, I also asked what they would recommend against. So in the interest of full disclosure, here’s the other half of the responses I received.

Is there one thing you would not recommend?

This is not a normal construction site don’t expect it to be. Don’t be too bossy or demanding. Don’t be too critical there will be lots of mistakes made, just fix them. – Trent Hansen NNHC

Have a project no less than eight homes as there are not enough family members to build the houses with less. – Loren, RurAL CAP

I would not recommend going into problems deeper than the project itself (marriage, personal conflicts)
– Anonymous

Don’t ever be transparent to your families. Always leave something within you, so it remains valuable.
Have some thought, dignity within you, and keep them guessing.
– Dennis Delfin, Hawaii & Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation

Do not get caught up in the gossip among the families. I try and resolve things like this right away.

– Paul Downey, CRHDC

If there’s one thing I would not recommend it is favoritism. Treat everyone in your group and every volunteer with the same respect. Everyone is different, everyone learns at a different pace. Some jobs might take one person an hour to complete and the same job might take someone else several hours to complete. This is life, and it is our job to mesh different people with different backgrounds together as a common goal: The American dream of homeownership.
– Chad Whitaker, Self-Help Construction Supervisor SCCAP

Making friends per say. It’s ok to be friendly and open but wait to form friends once the homes are complete. – Dean Nail, Construction Manager Housing Kitsap

“Newby” you now have the other half of the story, good luck with your new position!