064: Why Details Matter – A Lesson From Car Repair

064: Why Details Matter – A Lesson From Car Repair

It’s amazing what happens when we get ALL of the details.

One little detail can clear up a ton of confusion, can save a lot of money or time, can change a conversation, can make a decision easier.

Recently I had some trouble with my son’s car. Some exhaust trouble.

OK, so, maybe trouble isn’t the right word. It’s more like two words. Falling off.

Just a little back story. This is a really old car that has been a good beater car for him but with the age comes things like exhaust pipes giving out.

So, after I had him pull it into a parking lot I was able to go back to it with some coat hangers and at least get everything off the ground and drivable until we could get it repaired.

So, I dropped it off at a repair shop and they called me the next morning with a quote to repair it. Let’s call that quote Super High Price A. I decided to get a second opinion so I took it to my brother-in-law who does auto repair (but was already working on another one of our vehicles).

He took a look and gave me a quote as well. Let’s call that quote More Resonable Quote B.

Now I expected some difference in prices but in this case it was pretty extreme. And it wouldn’t have made sense except for one small detail. The first place doesn’t do any welding. My brother-in-law does.

So, the first place was going to need to replace the whole exhaust system. My brother-in-law was able to repair and patch the pipe.

Details are crucial in the workplace as well.

In our organizations, details can affect both our people AND our processes

I’m sure you’ve seen it happen. Miscommunication. Assumptions. A customer interaction gone wrong. Poor quality product or service. Disgruntled team members. Strained relationships.

Often all just a result of a single, seemingly small detail.

So, it’s really important to cultivate a culture where all the details matter and it’s OK to risk overcommunicating in order to make sure that no crucial details are left out.

If you tell someone something that they already know, they can say “yep” and go on to the next thing.

But if you assume they should know it or a word or step was left out, that’s when the problems start.

Encourage your people to think outside the box when it comes to filling in details. Maybe it means taking a picture or a screenshot or a video to capture something important that others might miss.

You never know what missing detail is going to come back and bite you.

As for my son’s car? It’s running great and I’m thankful to have had all the details.

Then reach out to me on Instagram at @shawnwashburn7 and shoot me a message to let me know what you thought!