by Denise Lones
Whether the source of conflict is another agent or your client, the potential is there and when the pressure comes, how will you react? Conflict management is one of our training specialties and I have some tips to help guide you the next time you and the person across from you don’t see eye-to-eye.
We have gone from a very slow market to a very busy market. Believe it or not it is in thistype of market that agents are facing conflict in their transactions. Conflict could show up as buyers fighting to win at their offers or sellers wondering why they need to pay full commission when their home may only be on the market for a day or two before they are presented with multiple offers.
Conflict is a normal part of a life. Conflict can be as simple as noticing your spouse hasn’t put his or her dishes in the dishwasher after a meal or as complex as two neighbors disputing about their property line – or even worse! Having conflict doesn’t necessarily mean that something is broken; it just means there are two different opinions (or more) about how something should be handled. Because so many of us have been raised either in households which saw a lot of conflict or perhaps avoided conflict, most people bring these preconceived notions of how to handle conflict into the workplace. Unfortunately, this causes people who are faced with conflict to have an emotional response rather than following a strategic formula for handling it.
If handled correctly, solving a situation which involves conflict can actually bring you closer to the person you are having the conflict with. The key is to try and keep the emotion to a minimum. When you have an emotional response to conflict, it is almost impossible to hear or understand the other person’s point of view when you are emotionally wrought. It can also cause the situation to get worse instead of better.
ALL conflict can be handled successfully if you follow a very simple formula that consists of three essential parts:
Speak Facts, Not Emotion
When you speak in facts rather than in emotion it allows the other person to clearly hear what the issues are. People can handle issues, solve problems, and deal with challenges, but an emotional outburst is much harder to deal with because usually it is met with an emotional response from the other side. The situation escalates into a heated one instead of being diffused into a calm discussion. Emotion can be defended and deflected all day long, but facts are facts and they provide a clear roadmap to solving the conflict.
Engage the Other Person’s Point-of-View
When you are involved in conflict it is natural to want to get all of your thoughts, opinions and issues brought to the forefront. However, if you barrage the other person with all of your issues at once, this can create a barrier to communication because it shuts the other person down. But by engaging the other person’s point of view, concerns, issues and challenges you invite them into the conversation and you take away their defensiveness. This is critical part of conflict resolution.
Tell the truth and Offer Solutions
Telling the truth with gentleness and respect is critical if you want to handle conflict successfully. The truth can be your point of view, how you feel, or perhaps even facts around a buyer or seller situation. Sometimes you have to present an answer to a buyer or seller that they won’t like, but it is essential to present that truth and offer ideas and possible solutions. Offering solutions is a way to get past the current conflict and begin to actually solve the problems that caused the conflict in the first place.
Keeping to this simple formula makes it possible to handle almost any conflict respectfully.
Conflict can be a gift if you learn how to simplify the conflict by following the very simple solution above. Don’t shy away from conflict! If you can master this formula, it will give you an opportunity to create strong, honest relationships with your family, friends, and business associates.
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