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What Happens When Communication Breaks Down

What Happens When Communication Breaks Down

I have said time and time again, that communication is the most important part of any job. What I haven’t explained is how important communication is on an internal level as well. Tradespeople are notorious for letting people down, arriving late, not arriving at all, making mistakes on the job, not completing the job within the time frame, so many little and big opportunities for communication missed, creates an unenviable reputation. It is not only clients that are let down, but the builder as well.


As a builder, you are responsible for every little part of your job, regardless of whether you personally did that part of the job or not, you are ultimately responsible for the lot. This means, when a tradesperson lets us down, we are the ones to front up and explain to a client. We have a saying in our company, “It’s not my fault, but it is my problem”, simply meaning, we might not be directly responsible, but we do have an obligation to fix it.

So what happens when communication breaks down and how do you fix it? The answer to this varies on a case by case basis, and can be as simple as a meeting to clear the air, or as complex as not hiring that tradesperson again.

Most often the simplest way to begin fix the issue, is to bite the bullet and recommence communication. Our first call is to the tradesperson involved, secondly it’s to the client, this keeps everyone up to date with where things are at, and gives us all a new base to work from. Should the issue arise again, there is a very good chance this person won’t be employed by us again, however most times the issue is sorted once and for all.

As a client, it is important that you continually communicate with your builder or tradesperson, this way the message you are trying to send is always loud and clear. If you have an issue, consider raising it in email format, this way there is always a paper trail to refer back to when needed. Be clear, concise and be cautious about the tone in which it could be read.

If everyone is communicating well, even when someone has let us down, we can still feel empowered that we had the information, and the opportunity to deal with it accordingly.

Have you ever been let down by your tradesperson? How do you deal with conflict?

Nicole xxx

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  1. I work in communications and know important good oral, interpersonal and written communication skills are to a project being delivered on time and with minimal stress! My husband was a tradie and still works on the tools at times. He is excellent at communication, but unfortunately can’t say the same for many others.

    1. We have a very similar situation here Renee. xx

  2. Oh the truth in this post! Ultimately yes it’s the builder that looks bad if his tradies let him down. The same could be said about our business when we used sub contractor plumbers. If they did something wrong or didn’t show up it was a reflection on us. Just quietly a plumbers worst nightmare is the tiler and cabinet maker. But I’m sure they can say the same about us plumbers. ?

    1. Such great points Bec, we certainly all do well at getting on each others nerves at times. Communication is the cornerstone to a great job every time, no matter the situation, well in my view anyway. Using sub-contract plumbers would be exactly the same. xx

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