As a trouble shooter for a high rise construction company, I’d often visit frustrated clients wanting a resolve with an apparent defect.
By the time the problem reached me, there would be all sorts of opinions flying around looking to lay blame, especially when there are a few stakeholders.
A property manager, a Strata manager, a building manager, council of owners, tenant, landlord, builder, developer, city council to name a few..
The first thing you understand about human behaviour is, being rational and objective isn’t all that common, especially when an opinion has already been formulated.
I’d often arrive with no preconceived ideas deliberately and would endeavour to be impartial even though I represented the builder.
I maintain a simple policy which is to ‘Trust everybody and verify everything’, this simple process of fact finding and the elimination of hearsay would allow the problem to resolve itself.
Taking the lead doesn’t imply pushing our agenda, taking the lead takes the initiative to get to the facts and seek the most equitable solution.
I particularly enjoyed visiting this client and after talking through every issue that was annoying him, he calmed down and we nutted out a solution.
I then turned to his helmet selection on his shelves and we talked about his hobby, making medieval weapons, the above Templar helmet was a perfect fit. (We had a great laugh trying on the helmets)
I believe we can approach many toxic environments and turn the spirit of that meeting if we don’t approach the problem already set in our ways.
Stay open, be objective and don’t lose your cool.