Homeowners have to deal with many people, from contractors to tenants to everyone else.  Unfortunately, human relations are not an easy matter, as you have probably already learned from your past experiences. Misunderstandings and battles can make you pay a high price, especially if you end up in front of a court. So, how to handle people effectively and efficiently? Here come six great tips to survive difficult situations and live happily.

1 Communication and respect are key.

A lack of clear communication with resulting misunderstandings is the reason behind most failures in commercial relations. To avoid misunderstandings, try to speak clearly and pay attention to your audience. Set and get your expectations across, and then check whether your counterparts have really understood you or not.  A good trick is to summarize up all the decisions taken during any meeting by arranging them in a list of numbered points. Then, ask your counterpart to comment on each individual point of the list. Be respectful of the other person’s vantage point and seek any clarification needed.

2 Use written communication as much as possible.

Verba volant, scripta manent” (spoken words fly away, written words remain), experts of the theory of law say. So, don’t be too confident in oral agreements. You’d better have a written document where fees, workflows, deadlines, expenses and any other important details are clearly documented.  Documents like leases should be drafted by a lawyer or an expert on this matter, as they must conform to many provisions of the Law of Virginia.

3 Be assertive

In case of an argument, defend your positions in a clear way and without offending your counterpart or screaming. Speak clearly with a calm and relaxed tone of voice. Do not let your emotions overwhelm you for any reason and in any case.  Controlling your emotions is a very powerful strategy to keep control of a tense situation. If you are not able to find a solution immediately, take your time and reflect. Things often look different given time.

4 Know the matter

Knowledge is power. It is important to thoroughly understand things like leases and contracts, local laws, and certain agreements. When you need to hire a contractor, try to get an overview of your contactor’s strengths and the problems she might run into during the specific task you are going to assign. If your contractor feels that you are not totally unprepared, they are more likely to respect you and do a good job.

5 Take care of details

Details are very important and should not be neglected, especially when they are related to the amount of the fees or the times of execution. For example, in practice the expression “ $10 net of expenses” means something very different from the one “$10 all costs included,” as it directly affects the final amount of money you will have to pay. If there is something that you do not understand, spend some time to clarify.

6 Be kind, respectful and polite

The impression you give is critical in dealing with people. Extending the best face forward to everyone and giving each person the courtesy of our kindness is not only helpful to them- it just feels right.  We have all the same problem, after all: to understand whether the person standing in front of us is trustworthy or not. Your appearance plays a great role in that. Therefore, be polite, show respect and dress appropriately. Remember that you will be carefully observed and judged by others in the same way you do with him. In conclusion, respect and you will be respected.

Photo credit: http://effectivecommunicationadvice.com/keys-for-effective-communication