What would you do?
My next door neighbour has two large guard dogs. He keeps them in a small enclosure smaller than our shower recess! And they bark and howl all day. They never seem to leave the enclosure. Plus my neighbour goes to work all day. In the morning he lets the dogs out of the cage for – oh – all of ten minutes. Then I hear him yelling at the dogs to get back in the cage.
I often work from home and I do a lot of online client calls and I just couldn’t get away from the non-stop barking of the dogs. I would shut windows and doors and curtains but all day long bark-bark-bark. I was so angry. It’s not the dog’s fault.
My chatter is this: should I do something about this or not? What do I need to say or do?
I’d tried doing nothing but that wasn’t working. The dogs bark all day.
Should I go and talk to my neighbour? I don’t want to argue with my neighbour but I’m sick of the dogs barking all day too.
I thought of something indirect. I could phone the local authority and explain what’s happened. So I did – anonymously – hypothetically. They suggested I can register a formal complaint and they will visit my neighbour and if he’s not home call the animal welfare agency and enter the property and impound the animals.
The lady at the complaints desk was very helpful and offered to initiate that action immediately. I’m angry enough to say ‘yes’ but also I realised that if someone did that to me I’d be very upset if the person didn’t speak to me first.
So I cancel the complaint and decide to speak to my neighbour directly. I have to get very uncomfortable because my neighbour is a rough, tough mining dude.
When I get to his house he is two steps ahead of me. “It’s about the dogs, isn’t it?”
“Yes it is Sven.”
It turns out Sven is pretty distressed about the dogs, too. Apparently, they belong to his ex-girlfriend and he has been trying to get her to take them or re-home them for two months. As it turns out my visit prompted action. Within two days he found homes for both dogs.
“I’m so sorry Andrew.”
Chatter resolved. Two days later the two dogs are gone and the neighbourhood is strangely … very quiet.
OK, YOUR TURN
Can you think of a situation that is giving you chatter? What are your options?
Andrew Priestley is a qualified business leadership coach with clients worldwide. He is the author of The Money Chimp, Starting and How Money Flows Through Your Business. You can contact him through www.andrewpriestley.com
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