A Flexible Mind: The Intangible Side of Success

Services for Real Estate Pros with Napa Consultants

“Open minds lead to open doors” Unknown


The most successful real estate agents not only invest in honing their transactional skills, they also develop the intangible aspects of a flexible mind that is an imperative for successful negotiations. Agents with a flexible mind have the ability to transport themselves out of the confines of their personal bubbles of belief in order to clearly understand the other person’s perspective.


A common red flag for an inflexible mind is an argument that begins with these words “I respectfully disagree,” or I am deal maker not a deal breaker”.

A lengthy, emotional diatribe of unsupported glittering generalities often ensues with the hidden intent of belittling the other person. Whether one says it politely or states it outright, the message is clear, “you are an idiot!”


The word “respect” is the operative word here.  Disagreement without belittling someone leads to understanding and discovering the common interest of both sides.  This subsequently evolves into great relationships and lifelong friendships.


My father (A) exemplified the concept of mental flexibility.  As a young man, he learned to speak every dialect of Arabic.  This was an asset when it came to negotiating oil leases in the Middle East for American, French, Italian and English companies.  He understood the Koran and was well versed in the customs and the etiquette of each country. 


His negotiation skills were legendary. As a civil engineer, he was also employed by the Israelis to help rebuild their country’s infrastructure.  From my point of view as a child, his best feat was getting the King of Saudi Arabia to give me a special dispensation that allowed me to bring my doll with me to Saudi Arabia. This was extraordinary at the time.


Developing a flexible mind is like exercise.  It must be practiced on a regular basis to rise beyond the prism of judgment and personal standards.   


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Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-




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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 01/27/2017 01:00 AM
  2. Debbie Reynolds 01/11/2017 03:26 PM
  3. Eileen Burns 01/12/2017 05:30 AM
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Patricia Feager the feeling is mutual.  I continue to appreciate the gifts my father left me with on a daily basis...as I was reading the post to Ron, I started tearing up.  It was so nice to share this with everyone here, when it came to family and friends there was no one more loyal.  When we meet each other face to face, I have a story for you about how he helped a friend.  A

Jan 05, 2017 09:11 PM #9
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 there is no doubt in my mind that both of us were influence by great men who set an example for us to follow.  Whenever, I would be vehement about my point of view, he would always challenge it, to train me to look at the other side...It taught me to think!  A

Jan 05, 2017 09:13 PM #10
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Your story about your doll and the King of Saudi reminds me of The Little Princess a great Shirley Temple Movie about her and her dad. 

Jan 05, 2017 09:16 PM #11
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning A.  I've met some of those who's minds are not flexible.  They go from job to job and can't figure out why they don't fit in.  

Jan 06, 2017 03:27 AM #12
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I make sure that I listen carefully to what the client is wanting, then I cater the experience towards that, as every client is different.

Jan 06, 2017 04:50 AM #13
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Great post and to learn a little about your Dad. He sounds like he is/was a wonderful example to all, we need more like him today. I was reading something the last few days about negotiation. "Negotiation is not an act of battle; it's a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible." Chris Voss.

Jan 06, 2017 07:59 AM #14
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Nick & Trudy Vandekar Thank you for contributing that quote, it is perfect.  Have a great weekend.  A

Jan 06, 2017 09:31 AM #15
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

If you cannot understand another option, opposite of your opinion, in my mind, you cannot be successful at all.

Jan 07, 2017 03:44 PM #16
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Ron and Alexandra Seigel ,

A great quote with a great message. I loved lessons learned from your father are so in-grained in your constitution. He would be so proud to know his legacy is still valued and followed. It's amazing what we learned from our parents. I know my work ethic was instilled by both my parents..each contributing a different aspect for me to observe and absorb. Enjoy your day.

Jan 08, 2017 06:13 AM #17
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I know when I open my mind, I often learn something new. Your father shared so much good advice, Alexandra.

Jan 11, 2017 03:28 PM #18
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Being rigid in our thinking isn't going to get us anywhere, personally or in business - it just builds a wall or slams a door.

Jan 11, 2017 04:19 PM #19
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Alexandra, I came over from Debbie Reynolds re-blog and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. You're right if we don't have flexible minds negotations aren't likely to go anywhere. Your Dad sounds like he was an amazing man.

Jan 11, 2017 05:19 PM #20
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Our profession requires us to achieve common ground for the sellers and the buyers, if we can not achieve that we do not get paid period. We need to be open to different ways of thinking and achieving that, especially in today's Global market in the greater Los Angles area.

Jan 11, 2017 06:33 PM #21
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Being open to other customs, cultures, and ideas is a gift.  You are lucky to have known this since childhood!  Being from Kansas does me no favors sometimes!

Jan 11, 2017 08:02 PM #22
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

So true - understanding the other side is the only correct first step - and yet, so few people even attempt it.

Jan 11, 2017 08:30 PM #23
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Alexandra & Ron,

The story about your dad is pretty cool. To out-Arab an Arab is not easy, because haggling seems to be part of their DNA. Maybe that is why they cut him some slack. They were so amazed to encounter someone, who made the effort that they started liking him. His flexible mind was a true asset.

Jan 11, 2017 08:43 PM #24
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel & Land Specialist

Ron and Alexandra Seigel we connected in our respective business through #Active Rain and were open to communicating on a subject unrelated to real estate.So much is gained in life by pausing to smell the roses in the same 24 hours given to all. 

Being flexible with people in all aspects of the business transaction over time allows us to acquire diplomatic skills to conclude the transaction at the closing table not always with happy buyers, sellers, vendors and closing agents. 

We all listen at different speeds.  So, listening more closely to what is being said versus spouting off the reply to the situation before thinking the words to say, will serve us better.  

Role models and mentors are critical components to our ultimate success in our life.  Life learners read books as well.  glad we have condensed versions in our Rainships! Wonderful post and well worth a reblog A!

Jan 12, 2017 05:10 AM #25
Maya Garg
Royal Lepage Signature Realty,Mississauga, Ontario - Mississauga, ON
Moving you Forward.... Buyers, Sellers, Investors

Great advise

Jan 12, 2017 05:54 AM #26
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

After rereading the reblog of this post by Eileen Burns, I had to come back! Because both of you flex your bodies into pretzels because of yoga, I suspect your minds are sure to follow!

Jan 12, 2017 06:16 PM #27
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

What wonderful memories!  So often people seem to think what is different from what they are accustomed to is wrong, when it's just...different.  It's important to understand the customs and beliefs of the culture one is in, and to appreciate the unique perspective.

Jan 25, 2017 07:51 AM #28
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