Facing the Dragon | The Zebra Blog

Facing the Dragon

Today I am here at the Lynnwood Convention Center where we hold many of our live classes and meetings with coaching clients. For this week’s Zebra Report I want to talk about that sick feeling that most people get when they are confronted by conflict. I want to specifically address what happens to a person physically when you are faced with conflict, adversity, somebody that is talking to you aggressively, or when somebody that is upset.

We all have a physical reaction, partly because we do not know where that conversation is going to go, so we are operating from a place of fear. That fear wreaks chaos on our brains. Conflict sounds an alarm that triggers our instincts to protect us from threats. Our stomach gets in a knot, our breath gets shorter, we may even feel light-headed. And all of this just adds to the anxiety of the situation that triggered it in the first place. For many agents, it is a struggle to resist this automatic reaction, it just takes over.

I am passionate about conflict because I want to bring peace back to these gut-churning conversations that get us worked-up. We need to master conflict so that we can be smart about how we deal with it! If fear is motivating us when we face conflict, we are not going to make the right decision for our client, for our business, for ourselves. I’m passionate about helping real estate agents with conflict because it means giving control back to YOU so that you don’t live in this place of fear.

Once of the many things I have learned over the years about conflict is that you need to practice in advance. You have to have both a system and a formula to deal with conflict. You have to practice both, not just in front of a mirror, but with other people. We do this in my coaching classes through role-playing. We play through situations like:

  • How do you save your commission when a client wants to negotiate on it?
  • What do you say when a client asks you to do something where results aren’t guaranteed?
  • How do you calmly and firmly communicate with angry or upset clients?
  • How should you react when you receive news that puts your transaction in jeopardy?
  • What can you do to stay confident and meet challenging questions during a listing presentation?

By practicing and working your way through these situations, by having a system ready, we can break the bad habits that conflict triggers. We can comfortably get through the conflict and create a real win-win situation.

Dealing with conflict is the number one struggle that real estate agents have. It causes them to step back when they should be stepping forward. It causes them to be manipulated by the conversation rather than take chances and master a conflict conversation. It leaves opportunities broken, rather than repairing opportunities that need recovery.

As a real estate professional, conflict is a day-to-day event, and the more you master a system for dealing with it, the more successful you will be in every part of your life.

I am really excited that I will be teaching a class right here at the Lynnwood Convention Center next week on September 22nd and 23rd. It’s called Speak-Up and Make More Money. If you need a system and an opportunity to work through common conflicts in a safe, teachable space, this is a class you should strongly consider coming to! I have been teaching conflict management to real estate agents for decades and I’ll be joined by expert negotiator Jay Agoado. There are just a few more spots left and registration will end very soon! Don’t miss out.


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One Response to “Facing the Dragon”

  1. Denise, This is a great article and your role play situations on spot on. Conflict can be very hard. I was an assistant principal in a large high school so conflict was my daily exercise. It was great training! Stop, listen, let the person explode and then come in calmly. That’s my technique at least.

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