Dispute Resolution Tips from a Bookie


A record amount of money was bet on this last Super Bowl and over 85% of the early money was bet on the favorite – the Carolina Panthers. It was easy to see why the Panthers were the favorite. They had a better record, a better quarterback, and a better running game. It just seemed like it was their year.

A popular sports bookie was asked who he was going to pick and why. I found his thought process interesting: He said that he always starts by making a case for betting on the underdog. “Because,” he said, “If I start with the favorite, it is too easy to fall in love with that pick.”

That got me thinking, Do I ‘start with the favorite’ in my decision making? It’s human nature, I guess. It makes the most sense to go with what is most familiar. How, then, does that relate to dispute resolution?

When I’m in a pickle, I often seem to start by making a case for “my side.” I will fall in love with my position and am thus less open to seeing the other guy’s points.

Because I clearly think that I am in the right, I defend my position mercilessly.

That doesn’t look like a very good dispute resolution model, does it?  Well, like most everything else in life, I believe better decision making begins with better awareness. And the more aware we are of our tendencies, then maybe we can see the other person’s side more clearly.

Here’s what we teach at Twin about dispute resolution:

  • Acknowledgement / Awareness. If the customer believes that there is an issue, then there is an issue. It’s another way of saying that the customer is always right. That doesn’t presuppose that you did something wrong, it just acknowledges that there is an issue.  This is the time to be aware and to sit in the other guy’s shoes for a while.
  • Ask / Listen. Find out what the problem is and be thorough. Make a clear list of the issues and then ask them for their preferred resolution issue by issue. Write these down.
  • Resolve / Compromise. If you got it wrong, you need to get it fixed. If you can’t fix it, make it right. If the resolution is not equitable, then be professional, but firm. In many cases, if you are professional, thorough, patient, and understanding in your explanation of our position, the client will see your side. If not, be gracious and professional, confident in knowing that you have done your best.
  • Follow up / Learn from it. Do what you say you are going to do and do it with urgency. Ask what you could have done better or differently and then implement those changes.

An awareness of how you approach things is a great beginning. If you already have a plan for how to make decisions, that’s better yet!

If you execute that plan with humility and professionalism, you will have the best chance of making the right decisions and having happier relationships.

Oh, and I forgot to mention – the bookie who made the case for the underdog?  He took the Broncos.

Frank Siino

Born into a real estate and construction family, Frank has experience in all areas of the construction and real estate industry. Custom homes, land development, REO services and remodel. With job experience in the thousands, Frank understands how to get it done. His passion to “inspire, lead and serve” provides the platform for our core value of creating the best customer experience possible.

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