I’m in the process of moving my family, and have been working out a zillion details. As many of you know, details are not my strong suit, and it takes concentration for me to get them right.
One of the things we’re working on is a lease for a temporary house in Charlotte. The agent sent the lease to us electronically and we needed to sign and fax to back to them. This has been an iterative process – the agreement and disclosures require at least a dozen signatures – each, and it seems that no matter how carefully I review the paperwork there’s one thing or another that I manage to overlook.
The first time that I faxed the lease to them, the agent responded with an email.
Subject line: “Lease issues”
Body: Page 4, missing initial, Page 5 missing date, page 7, your wife signed, you didn’t….
Never mind that we never had a conversation about what was needed, nor was a paper copy sent to me with flags where signatures were needed. Never mind that some had space for two signatures, and others only one – I was supposed to intuitively know what to do. (Okay, rant over.)
Here’s the thing – the focus has been entirely on the terms and conditions, and compliance with the letter of the law.
Please don’t misunderstand, I know that the details matter. What got lost in this process is the PEOPLE part.
We have legal agreements so that when the real relationships fail – when we can’t negotiate and agree on what matters to you and what matters to me – we can go get help from the courts to “fix” it.
If we place all of our energy on the details and overlook the real people involved, it makes for a bumpy ride. In fact, you might find yourself having to rely on the contract rather than on the people. That never turns out well.
Think about your contracts and connections.
- Where are you overlooking the people because you’re thinking about the details?
- What can you do to change that?
Getting back to the lease: Now that I’ve faxed the thing to them at least 5 times, I think it’s finally right. *Whew!*