In this week’s episode of Mea$ured with Mick Donaghy, Mick speaks with David Madden, Founding Partner of  MBM. In reflecting on the pandemic, David made a point about the advantages the “new norm” of video conferencing. David reflected on how this technology suits different leadership personalities. You can listen to the full episode with David here. This week, we discuss the positives of virtual meetings to those working in the built-environment and ask which leadership styles stand to benefit from this change in format.


Reduced Confrontation:


In virtual meetings, confrontation is reduced. Because of technological constraints, attendees are more inclined to wait their turn. In addition, a raised voice is only as loud as the volume on the other attendees’ devices. Lastly, if following good etiquette, the “unmute” button will have to be located before that off-the-cuff interjection. In summary, meeting virtually increases the likelihood that every attendee is heard.


Diversity of Opinion:


Reducing confrontation favours leaders with a less confrontational style. As a result we bring new leaders in to the conversation.  This is of particular importance in traditionally male-dominated industries like construction. David Madden notes that many female leaders have reacted positively to the virtual format. In summary, inclusive meetings encourage a diversity of opinions for which the overall business/project wins.




A typical day in quantity surveying can involve back-to-back meetings. What better way to eliminate travel time between sites than to attend all meetings from one location? Eliminating travel can also open communication lines by allowing more people to regularly attend. Multiplying the efficiency gains of one leader by an entire firm could reveal enormous gains in productivity.


Presentation Capabilities:


Of all the technological capabilities of a virtual meeting, sharing screens may be the most advantageous. Gone are the days of hardware “fails”. Because of this, forgetting cables/chargers, hoping the client’s laptop fits the cable, sharing files between computers, losing memory sticks feels like a distant bad memory. This capability particularly suits the construction industry where plans, budgets, designs and spreadsheets can be shared instantaneously.


Thanks to David Madden for beginning this conversation about video conferencing. As a construction recruitment firm based in Brisbane, it is in Franklin Smith’s interest to know which kind of leader is likely to thrive in the virtual environment of 2021. If you’d like to join in the conversation, comment below, like or share on social media.

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