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Lost before the confusion of innumerable prospects

Mon, 28/04/2014 - 16:45 - Charmian Boyd


 “Lost before the confusion of innumerable prospects" Samuel Beckett wrote in The Expelled.  This is how some clients feel – just where to start with finding a new home or carrying out all the tasks to get there.  Yes we step in (Seamlessly of course!) with sensitivity and practical help.  Talking today to a knowledgeable Empty Homes Manager I recognize that the key is always to understand people’s motivations &  needs and then help them to put the task into some kind of order:  easily defined steps and not everything at once.  It brings to mind the old joke “How do you eat an Elephant?  In bite sized pieces of course” (not that I think I have ever eaten an Elephant – presumably they are heavily protected).  


Whilst I’m on the theme of Beckett of course The Expelled is rather apt considering what we do – people moving out from their houses, hopefully not expelled from their homes into the gutter, although we have already had one enquiry this week from a homeless couple living with their relative. 


This and the many other enquiries we receive require a respectful and non judgmental approach – there go any of us perhaps.  Memories of being taught “active listening” come to mind i.e. asking open questions, acknowledging answers and not filling every silence, so that people have time to talk about the real issues that they face.  It is interesting that social media feels so shallow and lacking depth, compared to the face to face and telephone conversations that we have.  (Ironic then that I am writing a blog!)  So those of you looking to help your friends, relatives or clients,  I suggest that you start with an open conversation and then continue to help, by suggesting some initial practical steps as part of a journey.