So off the back of my last post,  I want to tackle the topic of ‘Communication’.    It’s a proven fact that you have to tell your Son at least 70 times an instruction before he will actually just do the task through common sense.  Now I’m not sure who the genius was who made that statement, however I have to tell you it is true,  in fact it may even be more than 70 times  or it is in my house.  So clearly that is not effective communication.  When you ask your husband to grab something tasty on the way home from work, but obviously his tasty is not your tasty,  you’d prefer at cheeky Chardy and he buys beers…….

Beer or Wine


If you often don’t communicate effectively to your nearest and dearest (although as hard as you possibly try to the Sons of the family) what can happen is what goes on in their heads is completely different from what is going on in your head,  imagine when communicating with a Designer, Builder or trade that doesn’t even know you,  how much more effective you are going to have to be with getting your ideas across!!!!!!

Family communication


I have learn’t much about communication skills over the  years dealing with the general public from all over the world  combined with many Design projects, dealing with the builders and trades on every job.

I want to share an incredibly positive experience I had a few years ago.  I am a strong believer in fate and there was a reason why I came in contact with this local builder,  whom will remain nameless,  as he no longer works as a builder and I would hate for him to be inundated with inquires after you hear how fantastic he was.  So I very respectfully  refer to him as a ‘Woman trapped in a Man’s body’, maybe another reason he should stay nameless.  I have to say this is one of the greatest compliments a man can receive from a woman (in my opinion).  He had the clearest communication skills that I had ever come across from a bloke.  He likened himself to being a bit of a control freak but hey whatever it takes,  this build was an absolute hiccup proof dream experience.    I was singing his praises let me tell you.  So its not all bad the whole building experience,  but its necessary for you to be as committed to clear communication as it should be with whom you are communicating with (bit of a tongue twister).


My 5 basic tips to assist you with a Dream Project    

1. Search the Web,  spend hours trawling Pintrest making plenty of  boards, cut images from magazines,  take photographs…..  Spend time, even a lot of time searching for your inspiration and getting the best images that best communicate what you are trying to achieve. Before you present them to your Design Professional or Builder, as I like to say to my kids when they do there homework,  Edit your work.  So go back through all the crazy amount of images and put together the most comprehensive collection of what best represents the results that you want to achieve.  With my dream builder project I felt like I was back at school cutting, pasting and drawing, but he totally encouraged me to do this hence he was the dream builder……

Pintrest 1 Pintrest 3



2.   Keep a paper trail……   or in this day an age an electronic  trail,  so important.  Whether it be a quote for work to be done always ensure you get a quote in writing.  Firstly and foremost this will ensure that at the end of the works that you will pay exactly what is agreed on, but at this stage it will also alert yourself to unknown work that is required to achieve your result.     Its necessary to ensure the quote is detailed and it lists all elements required to complete the requested works.  Generally the more detail that you have on the quote as to what is to take place and what you are expecting and expected to pay will contribute to a better outcome.   The more detailed your quote is from your Design Professional or trade will indicate to you there level of professionalism and how much they value great communication.   Verbal communication in this area can be very dangerous and again just going with the theory that what goes on in your head may  not be going on in there head.


Paper trail


3.   So your works are underway…..  hooray  and congratulations it takes great communication to  get this far.  But there is no time to relax as the communication must continue.  As my amazing builder advised me at this stage come by the site every day,  look at what I have done and make sure it is exactly what you want.  Well I was exhausted by this stage however I took his advice and I did exactly as he clearly communicated to me and there was only a few occasions that there was the need to make small amendments that he accommodated with ease. I moved my study window by 200mm so I could enjoy the view as I sat working, which I didn’t take into account in the planning stage.


Window view


4.  Remember always this is your project no matter how big,  or how small.  It is paramount that you feel totally comfortable with the process at every stage of your works.  So don’t hesitate to communicate either verbally or written (if your more comfortable)  if the situation or circumstances are not working out how you intended or anticipated.  A great communicator would receive this information and immediately react with an action plan to return your project back on track.  If this does not happen then may’be this person who is working for you is not the right fit for your job….


Small coastal project

Big Coastal Project





5. Finally…   communicate clearly at the end of your project especially if you are happy, don’t keep it to yourself.  Shout from the rooftops,  sing the praise of your Design Professional, trade or builder.  Recommend them to your friends, your family, your postman at every opportunity let the world know you had a fantastic experience with a person who excelled.   On the other hand if it was not all good,  communicate clearly as to what and where things seemed to go wrong to the person who did the works,  not your neighbour, the postman or the lady at the supermarket.   After 26 years working for a global company I understand clearly that all feedback is good, positive and negative…..    Remember always when communicating, its all in the delivery and  effective  communication must be      HOT  –  Honest  –   Open   &  Two way……    You can have brilliant ideas,  but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get anywhere………