Success – it’s something we’re all working toward. Though it’s measured differently for different folks- there are still 4 skills that are integral to helping each of us become successful, on our own terms.
If you knew that 58%* of your performance was because of four skills, that have nothing to do with real estate, would you want to know what they are?
Regardless of anything else you’re doing, if you improve these four areas, you’ll increase your business, make more money and have more fun!
The Four Success Measures
- Self-empowerment plus Other- empowerment
Let’s break them down and learn how to improve each one. In this article we’ll focus on the first two. We’ll cover Other-awareness and Other-empowerment in the next article (next week).
Did you know that 90 – 95% of what you think is unconscious? That means, you don’t choose your thoughts, they simply arise in your mind. Similarly, the average person thinks about 60,000 thoughts per day and about 50,000 of those are thoughts they had the day before.
We are programmed to repeat things. We have habits for getting up in the morning, making coffee, brushing our teeth, driving to work, etc. It’s the brain’s way of being efficient.
That’s great when it comes to brushing your teeth and making coffee, but it’s not so great when it comes to relationships and work. Especially in real estate, where something new is always popping up!
This is why, of the four success measures, self-awareness is first and the most important. The other three skills build off the foundation of self-awareness.
Because most of our thoughts come from our unconscious mind, we often hear something, or experience something, then unconsciously assigned meaning to it.
I’ll give you an example. I was working with a client who had a difficult interaction with a colleague in the office. He described the conversation to me and concluded with, “I know she said that because she wants to control the transaction. She wants me to do it her way.”
One of the benefits of being a coach is that I don’t have a bias, so when a client tells me a story, I rarely assign the same meaning to it that they do. In this case, I heard what he said, but to me it didn’t mean she was trying to take control. It sounded like she was trying to find a solution to the problem. He had assigned meaning to her statement without questioning it.
We worked through his thoughts. I used a process similar to the one I outlined in, “You Can Look Forward to Prospecting: Change Your Brain” and within a few minutes, he realized, he had assigned meaning to her comments that she may not have intended. When he followed up with her to clarify, sure enough, he was wrong. She wasn’t trying to control anything. He had created that in his own mind.
That is the power of the mind! We interpret what people mean, we assign motives to what they do and say, then we react based on that. The problem is, much of the time, we are wrong! We’re in that 90% of our unconscious mind or those 50,0000 thoughts we’ve thought before.
Using the “Think Your Way to Success” process I outlined in the Prospecting blog linked above, is an outstanding way to cultivate self-awareness. You begin to realize how often you think things that aren’t necessarily true, or at least you can’t know for sure that they are. You play with the opposite idea and see how it might be true and you begin to learn things about yourself.
- Talking to your office manager, trusted colleague, mentor or coach is another great way to cultivate self-awareness.
- Ask for input on solving a problem or interpreting an interaction with clients or other agents.
- Get someone else’s perspective and consider how it’s different than your own. When we understand ourselves better, the door is open to the next three success measures.
Once we have self-awareness we can empower ourselves to interact with people at a higher level of empathy and connection. We don’t go into conversations with a lot of preconceived ideas and assumptions. We take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. No one made my client misinterpret his interaction with his colleague. He did that. When he takes responsibility for that he is now empowered to interact with her from a place of mutual respect. This allows him to ask questions and be truly open to the answers, rather than preconceived thoughts about her motives. The key to this skill is personal responsibility.
It’s so easy to blame others. The problem is, we don’t have any control over another person. We can only control ourselves. Focusing on our own reactions can help us better navigate even a stressful interaction. Ask yourself, “How can I say this in a way that the other person can hear me?” If you’ve been upset by something someone said, go back and check your assumptions by asking for clarity.
The time, place and method of delivery are very important too. If you have difficult news to deliver, don’t do it in a text message late at night. Usually, a phone call is the best way to deliver difficult news. You’re able to set a calm demeanor, you can be certain your message is received as intended and you can help manage the person’s response. (More on that in the next article.)
Buying and selling real estate is stressful for our clients and it’s stressful for REALTORs too. Cultivating self-awareness and self-empowerment allows you to better navigate the inevitable difficulties.
I’d love to know…
What situation can you apply these strategies to today? Where can you use the Think Your Way to Success method to check your own assumptions and reduce a stressful situation? Where can you use clarification, time, place and delivery methods to a difficult communication you have ahead of you? Let me know in the comments if you have any questions in applying these important strategies. I’d really like to hear from you.
To be continued- next Wednesday….
The other two measures will be shared next week! Make sure to watch for the email we send so you can read Part 2.
*Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves