The problem for many of us is probably actually being able to see ourselves through the eyes of others. That usually means that someone has taken the time (and risk) to tell you how they see you or something that you have said or done. Most of the time the kind of feedback that we need just goes unsaid and we don’t realize that something that we may have said or done was insensitive or at least not received as we intended. That can be particularly true in real estate where we really don’t have the kind of personal relationships with clients that would allow or encourage them to provide feedback on our behavior.
More than once in my real estate career I’ve heard back later, usually through a mutual acquaintance, that something that I did wasn’t well received by a client. Usually it had to do with appearing to be “pushing” the client to make a decision or seeming to be “taking the other side” in a deal. As I reflected back on those situations I can now see that what I thought was just trying to keep the dal moving along could have been perceived by the clients as pushing them. Real estate transactions are often full of emotions and being sensitive to the emotional needs of clients is something that I have to constantly work on, because it just doesn’t come as naturally to me as it should. I get wrapped up in the process details and lose site of the emotional side sometimes.
The other thing that gets in the way sometimes is logic. There are just lots and lots of places in a real estate deal where logic appears to be trumpeted – again by emotion. Sometimes I realize that I’m almost arguing with clients, especially young, first-time buyers, because I’ve taken the side of logic and they are coming from the emotional side. I have to step back and remind myself that I’m not playing a parental role in the deal, just an advisory role. I need to present them the facts and options without interjecting opinion, especially a parental sounding opinion.
So, as hard as it might be, it is good advice to try to step back every now and then and see yourself as others are seeing you. Sometimes you won’t like what you see, but then you have the opportunity to make corrections and be the person that you hoped you were. Here’s a little ditty to end these thoughts.
If I can understand how others see me,
Maybe I can become the person I’d like to be