Services for Real Estate Pros with gwen croft real estate

We do this with each other all day long. I tell you about how I think about or feel about something. You hear it and it feels and sounds to me as if you understand. The same is reverse, and so it goes with many more people for each of us all day long.

How do I really know that what I just shared with you and what you understand about that is the same understanding that I have? How can I know that what’s in my head is in your head and that we’ve reached a mutual agreement?

I recently read about Elizabeth Newton, a psychologist, who did an experiment about just that. She divided two groups of people and asked one group to rap out, with their knuckles on a table, a song they were hearing from earphones. Another group would listening to the rap and try to recognize the song. Before starting the experiment, she asked the rappers to estimate how many times the listening group would understand the beat of the music from their knuckles. They estimated it would be about 50% of the time. But the results of the experiment revealed that the listeners only got it right 2.5% of the time.

Granted, we can use mutually agreed upon meanings for words and visuals like our body and hand movements to help ourselves be understood. But even so, just a look around the world and our own sphere of influence, and we can see there is a lot of misunderstanding.

How can we minimize that, not only in our business, but also in our lives? We have to be aware. I think we have to constantly remind ourselves that it’s very possible that what’s in my head is not the same as what might be in your head.

“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” I’m the first to admit, mostly because of what I experience in my head, that most of us have narcissistic tendencies. Most often, we first seek to be understood.

In my design business, it is imperative that I understand my client’s problems and desires. I have to ask questions. I have to interpret their answers. I have to understand their business and what their problems are. At the beginning of a client consultation, I have to listen deeply and forget about everything I think I know.

I like this quote from Andrew S. Grove, co-founder of Intel in Fortune Magazine in 2005: When everybody knows that something is so, it means that nobody knows nothing’. It becomes harder for us to look beyond what we already know. When knowledge and expertise increases, creativity and ability to innovate taper off. I think once we’ve become expert at what we do or know, it becomes almost impossible to look beyond and imaging not knowing what we know.

So, how can we increase our ability to understand? First, be aware that it’s easy to misunderstand the other. Second, have the intention to understand. Thirdly, ask questions, listen deeply. Set aside your own assumption. Come to the conversation with a beginner’s mind. And finally, remember communication only happens when there is a shared understanding. There are many ways to confirm a shared understanding: in deign, a client agrees on a comp; in real estate, the buyer and seller have signed a contract, or in our personal lives, it can be as simple as showing up at a certain time to see a movie, as enthralling as saying marriage vows, or a complicated as resolving a conflict.

Comments (2)

Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

I actually like email . Then there is a written record that we can all refer to. After that I am a people person so I mix them all together

May 18, 2008 02:27 AM
Aventura | Bal Harbour | Sunny Isles Beach | REALTORĀ® 786-229-7999
SIB REALTY, Llc // - Sunny Isles, FL

Reminds me of the saying... "What I said and what you heard is not what I meant"


0r something like that!

May 18, 2008 02:29 AM