Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to get some renovations done around my home. Fortunately, and in some cases, not so much, I haven’t embarked on this journey alone. You see, I’m going to have a baby and we moved into a new place. My boyfriend and best friend moved in to share in this life changing and overwhelming task. In many ways it is feeling like everything in our lives is happening within the next few months and we need to be prepared for it.
So here we are, three amigos and soon to be, a baby! The apartment needs to be ready in four months and we all have different opinions and attitudes about what is going to make a safe and welcoming home for our child. Through this journey, I have learned a lot about patience and compromise and many ways of dealing with opposing opinions. I have a few tips that may help you whenever you find yourself in the similar situation of dealing with opposing views.
First and foremost you need to stay calm through this process. Trust me, this may be the hardest part. Remember that the people you are working with are not trying to make your life difficult on purpose, they just really love the color orange even if you despise it. The key to staying calm in these situations is staying grounded. A few minutes before you start your work or a conversation, take a moment to step back. Calm your breathing and even do a quick grounding meditation if you feel it’s necessary. Practicing this every time will make it easier and get easier for you to keep your cool as this project goes on.
Choose your Battles Wisely
Now I am not saying that you need to compromise on everything, but realize that you might need to compromise on some things if you want this project done efficiently and keep everyone happy. Take some time before the project begins and write down all of the points that are most important to you. Think it through and also write down anything you are willing to compromise on. Trust me this will save you a lot of energy and really minimize conflicts. If for some reason you end up stuck on one of the more important things for you, both parties should step back from the situation, take some time to evaluate and also to simmer down if needed. Once everyone is calm and clear, discuss the issue and decide which really makes more sense and if an agreement can be made. It may be that you meet half way or determinine it’s best to go one way or the other. You may even come up with a different idea all together that no one thought of before.
Create a Project Plan
It’s good to lay down what’s going to be done and who is going to be responsible for it before beginning your project. Along with creating a project plan, there is also tracking your progress. Luckily, we live in an age where keeping track of tasks like these are easily created. A few apps that you can use to help you along the way are Asana, Trello, Evernote, and Azendoo just to name a few. These apps can help you create and assign tasks, set dates for tasks to be completed and help you keep track of the overall momentum of your projects. These apps also let you add direct links from outside sources, such as an article, webpage or supply from the Internet if you want to have a reference. You can even have links for items and ideas you all agreed on in the beginning of the project to avoid any confusion as the project moves on towards completion.
These are just some of the basic tools that I have been using to get me through my current multi-person project. I have learned that projects go a lot smoother when you keep a cool head, have a good plan, are open to discuss differences and are willing to compromise.
Have you worked on a project that involved more than yourself? What helped you keep your project on target? How did you deal with differences in opinions? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what worked and what didn’t work for you.