The biggest mistake that most real estate agents make in dealing with their clients and colleagues is that they are unconsciously committed to “people pleasing.” This article shows you the signs to watch out for. These signs will clearly show you whether you are inadvertently falling into a “people pleaser” pattern. If so, you’ll be shown an alternative strategy. You’ll learn what it means to commit to “win/win” or “no deal.”
Part 1: How do you know, if you are a people pleaser?
Here are the signs to watch out for:
1. You don’t feel in charge of your business. It seems that your clients are running you around. You find yourself accommodating to their schedules and feeling that you have “no life of your own.”
2. You find yourself wasting time with people that you thought were “prospective clients”, only to find out that they were not really committed to working with you.
3. You find it hard to speak “the truth” to your clients. For example, you find it hard to tell them specifically how to price their home. You may also find it hard to insist that prospective buyers agree to a “buyer’s agreement” with you.
4. You take on clients that you know you shouldn’t. You intuition is telling you that there is “trouble ahead.” You don’t see the red flags, because you want to be “nice” and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
5. You find it hard to pick up the phone and call on prospects. It could be that you find it hard to call your sphere of influence, your former clients, or even warm leads. You tell yourself, “I don’t want to bother anyone.”
6. You let your colleagues and associates encroach on your time. Perhaps they pass by your office and think that it’s a good time to talk to you. You have trouble setting boundaries with them and saying, “Sorry, I’m busy now.” You want them to like you.
7. You also want your clients to like you, so you bend over backwards to meet their needs. I’ve even had some clients who took on the job of babysitting children of their prospective clients. They thought if they could just please them enough, they would get the business.
8. If you are a broker or a manager, you put up with having people in your office who shouldn’t be there. Their energy is negative, and they pull down the morale of your office.
Part 2: A case history of a broker and her “hard to let go of” agent.
One of my clients, I will change the names to ensure confidentiality, was a broker of a small office.
About a year ago, she failed to follow her intuition and hired an agent who turned out to be hostile and negative. “Looking back on it, “she said,” the red flags were there.”
For a year, my client, Jacqueline, had been trying to let this agent go. As the year went on, not only did the agent fail to produce, but she became increasingly hostile, picking fights with other agents in the office.
My client felt sorry for the agent, Mary, and tried to overlook the difficulties. Under the surface, what was really happening was that my client had been taught when she was young to “put up with people” instead of speaking her mind.
Although this served to help her survive as a child, it really got in the way of her being a successful real estate agent. This interaction with Mary brought it to a head.
She would either have to speak the truth and tell Mary to go or she would have to put up with more “slacking and negativity.” Because she felt sorry for Mary and afraid of any negative repercussions of letting her go, she procrastinated the difficult task of letting Mary go.
Finally, after a few sessions of coaching, she got the courage, the understanding, and the right words to end this negative relationship.
To her surprise, there were no repercussions, no fights, and no fallouts. Instead, Mary handled it calmly and swiftly. Before the end of the day, Mary had packed up and left the office.
My client was so relieved. She felt like a burden has been lifted off of her shoulders that had been weighing her down for nearly a year. She and I discussed how this happened, the red flags that she ignored and how she could prevent this from happening again. She then committed to “win/win or no deal.”
Part 3: Win/Win or no deal – what does it mean?
When you commit to “win/win or no deal”, as Stephen Covey says, you are agreeing to never again enter into a relationship in which you will lose and the other person will win. In other words, you are deciding to relinquish your old “people pleasing pattern.”
Remember, the “people pleasing pattern” is based on the self limiting beliefs that “other people’s needs are more important than your own.” Dropping that paradigm means embracing a new paradigm — “my needs are as important as other people’s needs.”
What can you expect as the results?
You can expect that you will be more highly tuned in to your intuition and “gut feelings.” If your “gut feeling” says, “No” then you will listen to that rather than your “mind”, which doesn’t always tell the truth.
You can expect that prospective buyers you work with will respect your policies because you will insist that they agree to a “buyer’s agreement.” You can expect that when they do finally buy a home, it will be from you.
You can expect that your clients and colleagues will gain respect for you because you are finding respect for yourself. Please note that you don’t need your clients to “like” you. You just need them to respect you.
(As an aside, studies have shown that it is not so important as to whether they like you, but rather, what’s important is that they perceive that you like them. When they perceive that you like them, they feel protected and taken care of, and will give you their business.)
You can expect that you will be telling the truth to sellers about how they should price their homes and you will be telling the truth to buyers as to how much they can expect to get for their money.
If you are a broker, you can expect to be much more particular when you hire agents. You won’t be worrying about pleasing people, and you will be better able to evaluate the character, and work ethics of your team.
You can expect to have better control of your own schedule. You will be clearly setting boundaries and defining when you are able to work and when you’re not. Not only will your clients respect you for that, but you will find that you finally “have a life.”
You can expect to be more courageous in your prospecting. No longer will you be trying to “please” everyone you call. Rather, you will be coming from the mindset of “I have something valuable to offer”, and “this person is lucky to hear from me.”
You can expect to back out of deals that you recently entered into when you were trying to be a “people pleaser”. As soon as you sense that this deal is going to be difficult or draining to you, you’ll remind yourself, “that it’s Win/Win, or no deal.”
You can expect to be more assertive with your clients, with colleagues that stop by your office and pull on your ear, and even in group situations when you need to speak publicly.
What is the underpinning of all of this positive change? The key is that you approve of yourself. This is the greatest confidence builder that you have – your own approval of yourself. When you have that, you are no longer “outer directed”, i.e. trying to get the approval of others. You are inner directed and finding your own “inner approval.”
Finding your own “inner approval” is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Usually you need the help of a mentor or a coach to help guide you out of your old “people pleasing pattern” (which is usually your blind spot) and into a healthy pattern of self approval, leading to a “win/win” or no deal.
Author: Maya Bailey, Ph.D
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