I receive emails like this all of the time.

“Our board is out of control. We want to find an attorney that can set them straight and then work to get the law changed. We are constantly being told that the board is following the law and so maybe that’s the problem. Can you help us ? We are desperate.”

As you can imagine, it is difficult to answer an email like this. It contains implications but no specifics. It is vague. There is nothing that indicates a specific problem I can address.

What is evident is that there is an indication at least of some serious perceptions by the author of the email  that something very big is wrong. The question is … is there a real problem ? or simply a perceived problem? And most importantly, is there a solution for this person?

The email query is like saying:  “The government is screwed up and the laws might be the problem, can you fix that?” And of course, the answer is an emphatic  “ No, I cannot fix t”that” (the government) nor  “that” (resolving anyone’s general complaint).”

While I advocate that there is a solution for every problem, I do not advocate that I or anyone else can make another person happy or solve all their problems. But what I am able to do in this situation is respond in this way:

“Let’s break your concerns down into some specifics so we can more fully understand the concerns and see what solutions or options are available. And let’s take them one at a time rather than in a big confusing glob.” Well, I don’t really use that specific term but sometimes think it, and I do break down the problems into  manageable sections while on a consultation call. Surely, if the jumbled mess of dissatisfaction is confusing or vague to me, I am not going to be able to give a cogent response and the person on the other end is not  likely to get much out of the call.

SO KEY POINT: When you want a consultation or email response, state your concerns one at a time. And state your facts and timeline in cogent order. It will make the call go smoother and save us both time, better allowing me to get to the meat of the problems. I had to write back to this owner and explain that I needed more information in  order to help find solutions. And that would require a phone consultation.

Breaking down the problem into manageable components is something I can do on a homeowners or board consultation call. And looking for solutions is something I can get excited about.

Because, again, while I cannot fix every person or every hornet’s nest of problems,  my favorite saying is that there is a solution for every problem. Maybe no one ever told you that between the extremes which are to move, or to sue, there are often many options that you have not thought of. It will help if you  know where to apply pressure to effect change, and change is what writers, owners, directors, managers, and clients consistently want when they are contacting me for help.

And one more thing: if you look at every difficult situation as more as a challenge than a problem you begin to realize that you could gain back some pride and control in being proactive by stepping up to face the challenge.

  • Share/Bookmark

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.