In part one of this series about success measures (You can read it by clicking this link) you learned that 58%* of your performance as an agent is determined by four skills:
The 4 Success Measures/Skills
- Self-awareness (last week)
- Self-empowerment (last week)
- Self-empowerment plus Other- empowerment
We covered how to improve self-awareness and self-empowerment in part one, if you missed that, go read it now. They are the foundation to the two that I’ll cover today. Once we’ve begun to master our own reactions we can manage others’ more effectively.
When we’ve “cleaned our own house,” by becoming self-aware and empowered, it’s much easier to have an objective awareness of others. When we’re open, receptive and inquisitive in our interactions, rather than quickly deciding what someone else meant by what they said, our ability to navigate difficult situations is dramatically increased.
Your greatest tools for this skill are empathy and clarity.
Empathy and Clarity
Empathy is the ability to understand how someone feels, even when you don’t feel the same. This is the skill of being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s a super-power all on its own. You’re an amazing agent, so you’ll go a step further and ask questions about what they need, want or are upset about. Sometimes clients or agents will actually have trouble expressing what they want and need. If emotions are high, people often focus on things that aren’t that important and lose track of what is. You can help them get clarity on what’s truly important to them.
Try my favorite technique…it’s one question you probably aren’t asking now
- Tell them what you think they want, need or are upset about…
- then follow it with, “Tell me where I’m wrong?”
It might go like this, “I hear you saying that having the roof fixed is the most important thing to you, and if the seller will repair the heating system, that would be a plus. Tell me where I’m wrong?” It’s very easy for someone to tell us when we’re wrong.
If you said, “I hear you saying that having the roof fixed is the most important to you, and if the seller will repair the heating system, that would be a plus. Right?” They might actually agree, without meaning to. Human nature causes us to be prone to agree with people. Later they may not even remember agreeing because they’ve done it passively. Or they may feel like you are leading them to what you want them to do. When you ask, “Tell me where I’m wrong?” you’ll either find out you’re right, with an affirmative, “You’re not wrong. Having the roof fixed is our top priority.” Or, they’ll tell you you’re wrong and tell you what they really want. It’s easy and the outcome is much clearer.
Once we have used other-awareness to navigate an interaction more successfully, we can empower the other person to handle the situation in a more constructive manner. We can help them navigate their assumptions and responses, in the same way you navigated your own. After all the personal growth you’ve gone through to get to this point, you’re very aware of someone else’s assumptions about others.
Now, you can help your client or another agent.
- If they feel like they are being taken advantage of or they’ve lost trust with the folks on the other side of the transaction, you can help them with their assumptions. You’ll want to navigate this carefully (you don’t want to sound like a know-it-all,) but ask the question, “It sounds like you’re afraid the seller is trying to take advantage of you? Tell me where I’m wrong?” That might be enough to empower them to the awareness of their own assumption.
- If not, you could follow it up with, “We don’t really know with 100% certainty that the seller is wanting to take advantage of you, do we?” Here, you’re using, with your client, the first question in the Think Your Way to Success Method. Hopefully, that breaks the pattern of their thinking and they realize, they may be assuming incorrectly.
- Then you can help them with this clarifying question, “What would you do or ask, if you didn’t think the seller was trying to take advantage of you?”
We can’t always get to this last step in our series of Success Measures, other-empowerment, because the person(s) we’re dealing with may not be able to go there with us, but when we can, it makes everything so much easier!
The four success measures work in all relationships and interactions, professionally and personally. Understanding ourselves, choosing how we will respond, having empathy and getting clarity with others, then ideally, empowering others to navigate the situation from an empowered state, is the ideal way to work through any difficult situation.
Which of these is the hardest for you? Which is the easiest? How can you use these four success measures in a challenging transaction you have right now? Please leave a comment below!