Do You Have the Keys to Solving Conflict? | The Zebra Blog

Do You Have the Keys to Solving Conflict?

Today I want to talk about something that has come up a lot this year, just because there has been so much stress, and people have been away from their normal habits and routines. That topic is CONFLICT. Whether that conflict is at home, with a business associate, with a client, or a family member.

The reality is that conflict makes most people very uncomfortable. We don’t want conflict. We want our life to be smooth, and we want people to be happy with us. For many real estate agents, that is exactly why they got in the business. The business to take care of clients and to solve problems—not to create problems.

Conflict can start almost anywhere. It is either conflict that you do have control over, or conflict that you don’t. In real estate, you have two totally different parties: one wanting to buy a house, and one wanting to sell a house—often times there is conflict. When you are working with different agents that may not have the same work style as you, that can create conflict. If you are racing in and out of your home and you’re late for a family event, maybe that is creating conflict at home. Sometimes conflict is caused because it’s a reoccurring thing (like somebody’s chronic lateness). Other times conflict arises when somebody loses it with you, when you have done nothing wrong (you got stuck in traffic and had no control over it).

Whatever the conflict is, there are three essential keys to dealing with conflict: accountability, timing, and (the most important key) taking full responsibility.

For example, you’re coming home late every night, and your family members are getting upset with you. This creates conflict about your evening schedule, you need to hold yourself accountable for what is causing the conflict, address the conflict in a reasonable time, and take responsibility to resolve it. If it’s conflict that you do have control over, I have found that people are very receptive when you are really honest about it.

Approaching your family honestly and saying, “I’m having a really hard time with time management, and I can see that it is really affecting the family. First, I want to take responsibility. Second, I want to apologize. Third, I’ve got to make a plan moving forward, and I might need your help with that, and check in with you.”

It is really important that you name and claim what the conflict is, and identify whether if it’s conflict that you can control, or conflict can’t control. You can control your temper and what you say. You can control your time. You might have to plan different or switch things around. Conflict begins when somebody is expecting something from you and you break that promise, or that expectation is not what that person had expected. Expectations are a big one.

One very important thing to remember about conflict: You will never resolve conflict using emotion. It does not work. Conflict coupled with emotion usually results in more conflict, more intense conversation, and unresolved conflict.

I’m a bit of a spicy girl, and I get upset occasionally. There are times when I want to snap at someone. I have had to learn over the years that there is a time to say, and there is a time to stay. By that, I mean there is a time to say something, and there is a time to stay still. A lot of times when I am dealing with conflict, I actually will not respond to the conflict that moment. I’m too heated and too emotional to be calm and rational. By taking a little time and distance, I can better spot the source of the conflict and respond accordingly.

If you cannot accept responsibility, apologize, and give a corrective plan moving forward, you probably will not get the results that you want. That’s where you may need to take some time and sleep on it. It’s OK to say to someone, “I can see it upsets you, I want to resolve this conflict, but I want to take some time to really think about this. It seems to be such an important issue to you, and I want to respect that.”

I find that a lot of agents are feeling their business is being held back because they are afraid of it. They don’t want to hire an assistant, because they don’t want to have conflict with that person. They find that they are not going after listings they would really like to get because they are worried that maybe it’s a high price listing, and they might have conflict with that type of a really sophisticated seller. But avoiding conflict isn’t serving their business any better.

It is really important that you have a conflict plan in your business and you know how to face conflict. When you do, the rest of your business falls into place. Once you learn how to deal with conflict, you rarely have to avoid it.

Speaking up and being strong isn’t easy for everyone. That I why I am so happy to announce that in just a few weeks I will be holding a very special class co-taught by Jay Agoado to help agents in the field with this very issue.

Speak Up and Make More Money will be unlike any class you have taken before. We are going to be getting into the nitty-gritty of conflict, speaking your truth, and finding resolution in everything from conflict with your clients, with other agents, in a presentation, and more. We are going to get uncomfortable with the goal of moving forward towards resolution. We have fewer than 20 seats left for this class, so make sure you reserve yours today!

Join us at the Lynnwood Convention Center September 22nd -23rd for our Conflict Workshop with Denise and Jay Agoado to learn how to Speak Up and Make More Money!


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