What triggers set you off?
Admittedly, I’m unsure of my specific plans to sell my apartment, but when a potential realtor said, ‘I don’t want to waste my time’, my communication skills went the way of affordable middle-class housing in NYC (non-existent).
So I thought about triggers. Triggers that get pulled and explode in either conflict and/or nasty feelings. We all have them: those intangible minefields, verbal or nonverbal (tone of voice or ‘scrunched’ faces) that upset our equilibrium about how we feel about ourselves, our lives, and the world we live in.
So why did the flippant comment of this realtor bug me so much and what did it remind me of ‘fighting words’?
Current emotional residence: Conflict is always about what is going on inside. Selling my external/physical residence feels freeing, but as my next step is uncertain, internally I’m emotionally fragile. The stress of ‘when’ to sell was heightened as my uncertainty met with her impatience.
Expectations: It is wrong, but I still expect to be treated with some semblance of kindness, goodwill, compassion by others – especially in a situation where I am the customer and will make her money. A little empathy goes a long way I always think to reminding me I am in a ‘human’ relationship.
Communication style differences: Yes, I know different people focus on different things. I focus on relationships whether it is in selling my apartment or going to the dentist. In a busy city in our modern 24/7 life it a reminder others favor tasks and getting things done over a warm fuzzy relationship shouldn’t surprise me – and yet… And while I ultimately want a task focused realtor, this realtor’s task approach left me feeling like I do when the ‘F’ train suddenly goes express leaving me in the freezing cold on an outdoor subway platform.
Needless to say, I let this realtor know I wouldn’t list with her. Her verbal comments and nonverbal tone made me feel like my sell was ‘pocket change’ which it is, but still…. I recommended I would have preferred a ‘let’s see if this will work for both of us’ approach.
Time is money and it always has been. As a consultant, I’ve spent months patiently calling potential clients to discuss their needs. Sometimes its paid off, quite often not. Is there anything more valuable than money? I suppose that is up to each of us to decide. Like I said, I focus on relationships. Granted, one reason why I am selling a VERY low commission apartment!
So as l ditch my cheap little apartment, not only don’t I want my time wasted – more importantly I don’t want my good nature destroyed. So here is my 3 step reminder to myself (and any potential realtor or substitute realtor for any person of potential conflict) to prevent conflict and make a sell:
1. Compassion: Realize when someone is seeking ‘help’ they are (likely) feeling vulnerable. Compassion like empathy goes a long way. I know it’s so last century, but ‘be nice’.
2. Expectations: (see above) and: I don’t know my potential clients expectations (hell, as a seller in this situation I barely know mine!). This is a reminder to compassionately ask: what are your expectations for working with me? It’s not meant to be an end to negotiations, only a good beginning. And a good first step to ensure no-one’s time is wasted.
3. Connect with style: (see above) and: remember we all have different styles and ways to go about doing the same things. This is why we are always grousing about partners, significant others, and friends. In reality no-one does things the way we do. So my most important reminder: LISTEN to what someone is asking/telling to understand what the other person needs. A simple: ‘tell me more’ goes a long way to not wasting time on either end.
Wishing you ‘easy sells’ and interactions filled with connection, calm, and compassionate!