One of the greatest gifts to the modern restorer both new and seasoned is the almost limitless amounts of resources available to us in the context of information and advice. I believe good restorers don’t necessarily know everything; but rather, they are resourceful. Information seeking is a competency that helps us grow professionally in many ways from our technical skills to our soft skills.
In being resourceful, you will and should proactively find trusted resources on a variety of topics from technical guidance to conceptual ideas. We have access to videos, chat rooms, social media, periodicals, newsletters, seminars, and more and it is wonderful. Information is readily available on a variety of topics:
- Technical Information
- Business Strategies
- Opinions and Perspectives
Conceptual and Strategic Advice and Opinions
I will be the first to tell you that all my columns and writing is based on my values and perspectives. A combination of my failures, successes and things that I have learned along the way. Not deliberately nor consciously, but the reality is that my personal thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and more influence the way I present information.
It is important to understand and be open to perspectives and ideas on how to approach the restoration industry. Form your own ideas by exposing yourself to many perspectives. Be open and as Simon Sinek emphasizes in the following video, be curious. Simon Sinek on Why Diversity Differentiates Team Performance extends to the idea of taking in and being open to a variety of perspectives and ideas. When we are not open and seek, the risk to our organizations is what he refers to as “systemic stupidity.”
As an example, when asked about building relationships with carriers, I often refer people to a 2014 Restoring Success about building relationships with adjusters. This is one approach (not a right or wrong approach). The approach and counsel that I share is based on my story and beliefs. I am the daughter of a career-driven man who spent his life working hard for his employer, an insurance company. I married a claims adjuster who for 10 years would pay what he could in accordance with the policy and was considered to do a very good job by his employer, an insurance company. He found joy in helping and paying insureds who experienced a loss to their property.
Products, Technical Information, and Equipment
In our mold classes, we often show a video that is a funny lesson. A gentleman very passionately tells the viewers of his amazing approach on mold remediation. For all intents and purposes, it is very convincing and he is very passionate in delivering his message and technique. In an IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) class, we think it is funny and find amusement, but the lesson is in the caution and responsibility we assume when taking in information without the appropriate amount of time and energy on making sure the we are utilizing credible sources of information. As a reformed infomercial junkie who believed that “I must have everything” they told me that I must have, I have learned over the years to use due diligence, seek knowledge and expertise, and not to take everything at face value.
- Develop your own expertise as a foundation to evaluate new tools and products.
- New Products: Carefully read and understand labels, information, and ingredients. Research active ingredients to get a better understanding.
- Use credible reference materials to evaluate.
- Do your own field testing.
- Gather feedback from other industry colleagues.
- Develop Relationships: One of our instructors many years ago, said find your “Who”. Connect with colleagues and industry experts that you can rely on as trusted resources.
- Enjoy the easy access and comradery shared in our industry; while exposing yourself to many perspectives and approaches.
Information seek, be curious, and enjoy the resources available to us as an industry. Never get stuck; somewhere there is guidance, support, or a friend.