“We are dealing with human beings, with human hands. There are going to be mistakes. That’s what we are here to mitigate and manage.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve uttered this phrase to my clients.
We build houses for a living. It’s one of the last “crafts” that is still, on the whole, accomplished with human hands. But I’m sure whatever you do, you deal with the same challenges.
In an increasingly automated, mechanized, society, we have come to expect perfection. Exact timelines, every deadline met, and everything perfect to the millimeter…like a new Range Rover, right off the assembly line (that will constantly be in for warranty repair anyway, but I digress).
But this isn’t reality. We are dealing with people, after all.
PEOPLE AREN’T MACHINES
People have families, have back injuries, have soccer games. People have too much to drink at the tailgate. People have other jobs to attend to. The list goes on. People problems.
I often say this when it comes to homebuilding. If all you had to do was develop a calendar, tell each of the 30+ different trades…easily 100+ people… what day they needed to be on site… sometimes 6 months into the future… order all of your materials and specify a delivery date… and press “go”…. you wouldn’t need a builder. You could just sit back and relax, and move in 6 months later. All of the materials would show up on-time and undamaged. All of the inspectors from the county would arrive the next day… and all of the inspections would pass. All of the people would adhere perfectly to your well developed schedule. It wouldn’t rain. Nobody would get hurt. Nothing would be delayed. Just press go and schedule the moving truck for next summer!!
But anyone who has done even a basic remodeling project knows this is…I’ll go ahead and say it… NEVER the case. Items arrive broken, or not at all. People arrive broken, or not at all. Every day it’s a new “challenge”. Who can we move ahead in the schedule? Who is ready now? What can we juggle to keep it moving? Where else can we get the product more quickly?
THE INDUSTRY DOESN’T MATTER
I have also sold real estate since 2000. A glutton for punishment I tell ya… And it is no different in this arena. Remember when you were selling your last house and the buyers loan was all packaged up and approved weeks before closing? And you just sat back and waited until the happy day you received your check at the closing table?
Yeah… me either.
I’m confident very few people in the mortgage industry even look at the file until the day before closing. This is why they are still asking for documents you could have given them 6 weeks ago, 3 hours before you hand over the keys!!
The bottom line is, if you are dealing with people, there are going to be problems, always. And it’s likely your job to manage and mitigate those problems…unless you’re the one with the shovel. But you are also a person, you have faults, you make mistakes, you also drank too much at that tailgate yesterday. And so, the cycle continues on up the chain…
FREE VALUE FOR YOU!!
Below is a document I created a few years back. I think you will enjoy it. If you happen to be a builder… you are welcome to steal it and use it in your own firm. It has helped set proper expectations for our clients. If you’ve ever been through a remodel project, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it too.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
So tell me… what industry are you in? And what do people do to make your life a challenge? What do you do, personally, to help manage the ebb and flow of “people problems”.
Share below in the comments!