When you’ve got a problem the first thing you want to do is fix it and oftentimes you just need to talk to someone else to do exactly that. Really, it’s sometimes that simple. Whether it’s by hiring a mechanic to replace a timing belt or picking a contractor to remodel a kitchen, or talking to a neighbor whose dog is barking all day, talking is the first step to fixing a problem.
Of course this means that to be effective, the person talking and the person listening have to understand each other and want to help each other come up with a solution. In the professional context that’s easy. You don’t have the time or knowledge to paint your house yourself. You’ve got money. You hire a painter. You’re house gets painted. Problem solved.
Even where you end up with a problem because you didn’t get what you paid for, the first thing to do is talk to the person you hired. Talking, listening and working together – in good faith – sincerely and with the aim of resolving a dispute rather than being defensive, rude or angry is always a good start.
If you’ve tried to work out a disagreement – particularly where you are owed money and you’ve gotten nowhere – then at least when you take the next step, which may well be filing a small claims action. At that point, you can appear in Court knowing you did your best.