Nonprofit Insurance Program

It’s About the Relationship

By Alexa Connelly
March 29, 2010

It seems that we have become less and less personable in society today. With the development of e-mail, chat rooms, text messages, etc., we tend to lose that personal touch.  That brings me to the topic of this week“It’s About The Relationship”.

We cannot control every situation and accidents are inevitable, however, we can control the results of an accident or a claim by utilizing a few simple tools.  I am not talking about things that take a great deal of time or money, I am talking about some simple common courtesies that we learned as children and have often forgotten about.  Do you remember as a child when you had a disagreement, your parents would sit you down with the other party involved and have you talk about it, perhaps even have you apologize.  Why I can remember having to sit on a chair until I apologized like I meant it.  The awesome thing about this is that often times these discussions ended with a hug and/or no hard feelings and everything went on as normal.  Those were the days… Then came along the age of the internet and everyone seeking to communicate faster and more efficiently.  Not that this is bad, but it has lead to a great lack of personality in communication and ultimately is being carried into our one on one conversations with others.  We are humans, with feelings and one of our greatest assets as humans is our ability to communicate with one another and that doesn’t just mean sharing words.  Communication comes from not just the brain, but the heart too.  We do not just communicate with the words we use, but how we express them, our body language our tone and so much more that cannot be expressed in an e-mail, text or even in a chat room.  These are skills that need to be practiced on a regular basis, however, it seems like we lose some of this skill because we hide behind these other forms of communication and do not practice it often enough.

Lawsuits are on the rise in America.  Some people blame this on the attorneys, the economy, people looking for an easy buck, etc.  I believe that a lot of the reason for the increase in lawsuits is a result of our reduced communication skills.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not feel we intentionally try to be less personable, we simply get caught-up in trying to save time in this fast paced society we live.  If we would only take the time to communicate our remorse when something goes wrong or someone is hurt to those affected by the situations. Let them know that we are sorry they have experienced this (you do not have to admit fault), and that you are there to help if they need it (showing that you care and are truly concerned).  Isn’t this what we all want, just to know that we have support and that people do care?  This is one of the greatest tools in reducing a lawsuit from occurring to you or your organization.

But communication cannot start at the time something goes wrong, we need to have a relationship and communication with those you work with on a regular basis to set the ground work.  Then if something goes wrong, you already have a relationship established.

No, this will not eliminate every lawsuit, but it will minimize many situations from erupting into a lawsuit.  Should a lawsuit result from something that occurred against you or your organization, don’t give up on communication, I mean real personable communication.  You don’t have to go to court to resolve these matters, we have other options available that are much less confrontational, more personable, less time consuming and less costly than going to court.  Mediation and/or arbitration are means of resolving these matters without going to court in a more relaxed and less formal atmosphere.  Allowing the parties to discuss the situation with the intention of coming up with a fair resolution for all involved.  Isn’t that what we all want?

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