When things go wrong, there are 2 distinct approaches.
The first approach is akin to being a hammer in search of a nail.
This is a witch hunt of epic proportions.
For THIS to have happened SOMEONE REALLY SCREWED UP and they MUST atone for their egregious incompetence.
We must find the perpetrator, and if we can’t positively finger this culprit, we must pummel anyone and everyone involved until we get FULL satisfaction.
These lazy, good for nothing laggards who dropped THIS ball must suffer NOW.
We will beat on them until they get things right . . . no – not just “right” . . . We expect MORE than right.
If this is your approach, you must first hone your vocabulary such that you can appropriately beat down and SHAME these IDIOTS who inconvenienced ALL of us by their sloppy inattention to detail.
This approach may result in getting “there” (resolving the issue) but not without leaving some substantial scars. In the wake of getting there are people who are seething with resentment and want nothing more than to get themselves as far away from the Hammers as humanly possible.
God forbid THAT person ever come back to us in need of a favor.
This is a burning bridges/take no prisoners/Mafia hitman approach that may get the job done but destroys any respect and cooperative Spirit that might have once been.
The Second Approach is equally intense but quite different.
In this approach, the full on attack is projected directly on the PROBLEM . . . not the people.
This is an all hands on deck approach during which there is no air whatsoever for finger pointing and name calling.
Everyone pitches in and forms a coalition to solve THIS issue and nothing else.
Even folks who sit on potentially contentious, opposite sides of the negotiating table agree to toss the table and come together to grapple as allies against this unfortunate blip in the process.
Instead of 2 teams (Them and Us), there’s ONLY US . . . and No one is looking for a scapegoat.
The fun part about this approach is that resolution comes faster with less tension (but not less intensity) and builds vast mutual RESPECT for all parties.
I have NEVER seen a problem that wouldn’t best be solved the second approach way.
We see these scenarios play out often in my business of selling houses and as Principal Broker coaching my agents through emergent closing issues. There are SO many ways things can go wrong, and the intensity is SO high because the stakes are SO high.
These home Buyers and sellers have made it through the process and movers are emptying their houses and this deal MUST CLOSE ON TIME or it will be the end of the world.
Almost every one of these surprises begin with a First approach way . . . “Let’s identify the idiot and KILL her!”
I’ve devised a sneaky way to deflect them into the second approach simply by suggesting that everyone focus on the issue now . . . and if there’s a beating to be done, do it AFTER the closing.
Invariably, the thing gets resolved, and everyone forgets about the beating.
After all, don’t we all know that it’s not useful to whack a dog with a newspaper the day after he pooped on the rug?
Be kind . . . Polite . . . firm . . . and attack the issues not the people.