Hi Team and Happy Easter!

This email will be the last chapter in my quest to unpack why and how I have ended up in the legal dispute with the Brighton client; I promise!! (See my last two emails.)

After much sole searching, I now realise that this dispute is simply the result of a breakdown in trust.

"Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair." Unknown

All of the relationships I have nurtured and built with my clients over the last 30 years have been built on trust. If a client does not trust their builder, the whole process of building or renovating a house becomes stressful and painful. This is precisely what DDB strives to avoid, and our company Moto or Mantra is "we make building or renovating an enjoyable experience for everyone involved"

So what has gone wrong on this Brighton project and why has it become so toxic?

There have clearly been some errors during the building process that have resulted in several defects appearing 3 or 4 years after completion. But these building errors and the resulting defects are fairly easy to pinpoint and to rectify or repair.
What is much harder to put my finger on is why and when the client lost trust in DDB and myself? Or was it never there to begin with??

I have found that it is much easier to gain someone’s trust if you know what their expectations are in advance. This is where the Brighton clients become a problem. Their expectations have always been out of whack with the project budget and the design and specifications. The thing I beat myself up about the most, is that I knew this right from the start!

One of my favourite sayings is "in business and in life always follow your gut, it will never lead you astray." When I was originally quoting this Brighton project, I said to Sharon (DDB's Office Manager) that "something doesn't feel right with these clients and that maybe I shouldn't do this job?" But at the time we really needed a new job to start, and I knew that DDB was the only building company the client was dealing with. So, I went ahead and signed the contract and now I am living with the consequences of not following my gut...

"Never apologize for trusting your intuition. Your brain can play tricks, your heart can blind, but your gut is always right." Rachel Wolchin.

So in researching the topic of trust, here is what I have learnt.

  • There are two different "trust personalities" automatic truster's, (me) who always give the benefit of the doubt until trust is broken, and evidence based truster's, (the Brighton client) who don't trust until given good reason to do so.
  • The best way to lose someone’s trust is to not admit your mistakes.
  • All cultures and teams are built on trust and it is central to every human society.
  • The best way to gain someone’s trust is to be good at what you do and always follow through on your promises.

Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and always follow your gut!

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