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Friday, November 17, 2006

Resolving Conflict Without Any Conflict

A few months ago we bought out house out here in Colorado Springs. The realtor we used, like everyone's realtor, came to us through a personal referral. He made us feel welcome and special as we went through the buying process. But, as the time of closing approached, we lost a little of that personal touch and felt less like a priority and more like a number being processed in a transaction.

Eventually, the transaction completed and we went on our way... until we filled out our post purchase evaluation form. In this form a comment was made about our feelings of being processed and losing the personal touch. Instantly a phone call was made by our realtor saying they wanted to get together and talk about this. Finally this week we all sat down over breakfast to have this conversation.

However, the conversation never came up. There was no "So exactly what did you mean by this comment?" or "I'm concerned about what I read on your comment sheet." Instead there was lots of talk about kids and family and church and a host of other things, none of which related to our negative feedback. We finished breakfast, they thanked us for taking time to meet with them and we went on about our day.

I left the resturaunt totally confused because I'd worked myself up for a confrontation that never happened. At first I was a little perplexed, then disappointed, because I'd worked myself up, but never had a release. Then this morning I realized what exactly happened. They made us feel like people and not like a number, which is what we wanted. And they did it without ever addressing the comment which allowed us to avoid the akwardness of confrontation. Issue resolved - Slam dunk.