Conference 2011 done — 2012 heads to Tauranga

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We believe that this decision raised the profile of both events. Our conference was well attended, with many new faces, and we received similarly positive feedback from the XPO team.
There are a number of things we would do differently next time but, overall, we are confident that this year’s format has great potential for the future — although we do not intend hosting our conference in Auckland every year.

It was announced that Tauranga will host next year’s conference in the sunny Bay of Plenty. Thanks Tauranga for offering to host — we all look forward to a great time next year.
This year’s conference theme was “No I in team”, with an emphasis on collaboration. As we know, collaboration and co-operation are key ingredients in the management of successful building projects.

A good collaborative working relationship between all parties is greatly assisted by a formal pre-construction meeting, a meeting that is overlooked by many builders, particularly residential builders.
The purpose of a pre-construction meeting is to introduce customers to the key members of the construction team, to review all documentation and consider any last minute alterations, to run through the construction programme, to focus on important and/ or notable issues or peculiarities, and to run through procedural matters such as health and safety, communication and the processing of variations.

Such a meeting is invaluable.
Many builders provide their customers with a Pre-Construction Meeting Kit a few weeks ahead of the actual meeting. This kit can ensure a customer is very well informed, and saves a lot of time at the upcoming meeting.

My firm issues such a kit just after the building contract is signed and while the building consent is being processed. We then schedule the pre-construction meeting as soon as the building consent is issued. At this time, any changes required by the local authority can be discussed with all concerned.

So, if you do not currently schedule a pre-construction meeting, I recommend that you start doing so. It will save you time and money, as well as ensuring your customer has a clearer understanding of the issues that may arise along the way

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As usual, I have run short of words to say, so I will finish with a few more tips from the book entitled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work:

• Don’t let negative co workers get you down: If you don’t learn the secrets of dealing effectively with negativity, then there will be times when these people bring you down with them.
When someone regularly expresses negativity, there is almost certainly something missing in that person’s life. Your best chance of distancing yourself from the effects of negativity is to remain enthusiastic yourself, therefore being part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem.

In all likelihood, you will have a significant effect on the negative people you work with. But even if you don’t, you’ll be assured of being less adversely affected.

• Forgive yourself, you’re human: We constantly remind ourselves of our flaws and previous mistakes. We anticipate future mistakes. We’re highly critical of ourselves, frequently disappointed and ruthless in our self-judgment.

The truth is, we’re not perfect. We’re a work-in-progress. The best any of us can do, in any given moment, is to call it as we see it, and to give it our best shot.
Learn to accept mistakes as a part of life. When we do, we can forgive ourselves, thus erasing all the stress that usually results from badgering ourselves. So, my suggestion is forgive yourself — you’re human.

That’s it for another month. I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming House of the Year events.