Get Out of Judgment (Self) and Into Curiosity

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

My title line “getting out of judgment and getting into curiosity” came from a CRS class I attended back in 2010 and it not only helps to better understand both Home Buyers and Sellers but in our communication with others in life as well.

We often get stuck in our own self centered thinking (i.e. ‘my way or the highway’) and forget to step into another’s shoes to get a feeling of their side of the situation.  This kind of thinking steers and clouds our judgment when dealing with clients and we end up listening to ourselves talk instead of listening to our clients needs.

The key to any successful relationship (whether business or personal) is to step into another’s shoes especially when I start to presume or assume something about the other person. It is definitely better to communicate with the person and LISTEN to what they are saying rather than just build a one sided opinion.

There have been many a time that a client is not returning a call or answering an email. Instead of thinking the person is flat out ignoring me I will try and give them the benefit of the doubt. Most recently a client was flat out sick for 6 days in bed and when she returned my email I was relieved that she was getting better and glad I didn’t assume (or take it personal) the worst about the person.

The meaning of life is to use our main driving force…. “Curiosity”. To get out of judgment and into curiosity means that we step into another’s shoes and ask questions and actually LISTEN. We are curious and need to find answers instead of staying stuck in self and being part of a continuous human problem of clouded judgment.

Being part of the solution

Instead of part of the problem

Means to get into curiosity

…and out of judgment.



Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


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Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty
Leolinda Realty - Surprise, AZ
Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona

Your blog posts always speaks to me. I emailed someone a week ago with no response. I just learned today that she has been traveling and did not have access to email. There's always a reason when someone does not respond. The key is to follow-up and talk to each other, hear what the other person has to say.

May 21, 2012 04:10 PM #23
Robert Rucker III
Fairbanks, AK

Hello Sally,

Truly a great post. Very true and very refreshing. It seems as though we are living in a competitive time in almost every profession from Real Estate to News Media. Being the first to close or the best salesperson of the quarter. Time as the a valuable commodity and can often times position one to rush to judgement through situations/transactions in a variety of ways. Thus your wonderful we even take the Time to step into another's shoes ask questions and actually Listen. A key element that has worked for me is to take the time and ask good open end questions. Positions for great listening and communication. Again great post and thanks for sharing.

May 21, 2012 07:37 PM #24
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Sally being judgmental is never good, sometimes people are not returning calls because something more  important might be going on.  In the case you outlined, the person was ill.

May 21, 2012 08:36 PM #25
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Sally. Very good article and point. We all must remember that each of us look at life through our own lens. If we truly take the time to try and understand people we will find that most are just good folk. And we are not all that we think we are. We too are just regular folk trying to our best with what we have.

We are always too quick too assume that peoplle are doing things against us when the truth is their actions have nothing to do with us at all.

May 21, 2012 09:34 PM #26
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Great post Sally.  I've been guilty of coming to conclusions without knowing all of the facts.  Thanks for the thoughtful post.  

May 21, 2012 09:53 PM #28
Kimberly Tapscott
Keller Williams Prestige Properties - Stamford, CT
Giving you the service you deserve!

Celeste - what a great post.  It's a mindset switch and I am ready to do it.  Not sure who wrote it, but your post is much like the saying "Seek first to be understood and then understand".  Have a good day!


May 21, 2012 10:08 PM #29
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thank you for your post, Sally.  I am in escrow now wherein I represented Buyers who were very trying. Prescott is a premium place to live. My Buyers had considerable trouble adjusting to the fact that homes here sell at a much higher price than their recently sold home in the midwest.

I understand their position, but they tried my patience almost to the breaking point.

May 21, 2012 10:16 PM #30
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Sally,its always good to hear the other side of the story before jumping to conclusions and judging the person. As in you case, many times there is a reason behind the potential issue.

May 21, 2012 10:23 PM #31
Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret
United Real Estate (703.216.5635) - Prince William, VA
Associate Broker in Northern Virginia

Hi Celeste.  The bottom line is stop making it about you...

May 21, 2012 10:23 PM #32
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I have found it is best to stay in the positive and weed out the negative.

May 21, 2012 10:28 PM #33
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

A post that supports us all to become more self-aware...a very good thing. thank you

May 21, 2012 11:42 PM #34
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I call that just having an open mind. .this is a very important aspect of education for my kids. .

May 21, 2012 11:43 PM #35
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

It's so easy to just jump to a certain conclusion based on our personal insecurities or desire for a certain outcome, but being aware of what we typically react to is the first step. 


May 22, 2012 12:46 AM #36
Eric Proulx - Kirkland, WA

Insightful post! Working with clients is a two way road, it’s important both parties establish an understanding that sometimes bumps in the road come out of nowhere but it’s nothing personal and everything should be running smoothly  again shortly. Patience is a virtue! J

May 22, 2012 01:46 AM #37
Rich Gaasenbeek
IXACT Contact Real Estate CRM - Toronto, ON
Real Estate CRM & Marketing Made Easy!

Sally, that's the attitude you NEED to have in business! Keep up the good work!

May 22, 2012 04:54 AM #38
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

BB:  That's a fact. The solution is to look through other's lens (i.e. stepping into their shoes...) and when we see a different perspective...there may be a different outcome for all!

May 22, 2012 06:51 AM #39
Katharine Carey
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA


  Enjoyed this post very much, it has been awhile my friend...My daughter heads off to UH in August perhaps I can catch you again while on the island:)


May 22, 2012 10:46 AM #40
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent
Sally, I commend you for your upbeat, positive attitude. After my 32 years in real estate I am afraid that I know if the buyer doesn't return your call they are not interested or they don't want to work with me.
May 22, 2012 11:10 AM #41
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Curiousity stems from passion, which is a huge part of being successful in real estate or the field of your choosing.
May 22, 2012 12:50 PM #42
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Sally, and that class must have been taught by Jackie! She has been here twice and I am trying to absorb her CDs both on listing presentations and negotiation. Great point and so important!


May 22, 2012 01:45 PM #43
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