Perhaps one of the most challenging issues within an organization is how to establish effective communication. Especially when problems occur.
This is an area that requires a great deal of thought and perhaps new insights.
Two significant items that have been dealt with properly are those dealing with service requests: maintenance and landscaping. A form is made available at the gatehouse in 4 parts with the “pink” copy retained by the owner. The staff on duty distributes the form as required.
But what if problems or related problems arise? What if the issue has nothing to do with either of these service areas? What if Mrs. Par Excellence does not approve of Mrs. Or Dinary’s exotic cooking that permeates the air on a bright sunny afternoon? What if Mr. Joe Owner has issues against Ms. Sally’s dog?
In many professional sales seminar, what is considered the most daunting and challenging problem is “how to deal with customer’s objections”. What do you say when a sales prospect says, “Let me think about it!” The untrained salesperson might reply, “What is it that you want to think about?” When the prospect says, “Everything!”, there goes the interview and the sale!
Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Dr. Stephen Covey and many others have covered this topic in many of their books and seminars.
Social interactions are beset with challenges. They come in the form of misunderstanding, intolerance, lack of patience, arrogance, biases, prejudice, and last but not least, simple disagreements.
Those experts agree on the most important initial response – “listen”. (With your eyes and your heart!) It is the key to effective communication.
Determine the validity of the problem. Identify its level of difficulty. Step into the shoes of the “complainer” and genuinely understand what sentiment is being expressed. Dr. Covey says that there are two sides to a coin. A good illustration of that statement is covered here (beautiful lady or old woman).
Perhaps the most despised piece of paper at Huntly Wynd is a letter from Scott Unger in a Bayside letterhead alleging infraction of bylaws.
Perhaps, if the key to effective communication – LISTEN – is utilized, many of those letters may never have left Mr. Unger’s desk. If complaints are skillfully handled so that the “plaintiff and defendant” in the case are both given the opportunity to be sincerely heard with a genuine effort to seek immediate and satisfactory resolution, the Strata Council’s task would be a lot more rewarding.
“Exceeding the 15 kph maximum”? Could a son be responding to an emergency call from his mother at the time? Or a husband is in distress? We never knew, did we? We just quickly pulled the trigger!