Facing the Dragon

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

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.


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Comments (15)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Denise - the one that that you should normally not do is avoid conflict.  Creating a mutually acceptable solution is the best alternative.

Sep 20, 2021 11:56 AM
Denise Lones

Grant, not avoiding conflict and finding win-win solutions has long been part of what I teach. - Denise

Sep 20, 2021 12:57 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Denise Lones thank you for the very good educational post about facing the dragon.

Sep 20, 2021 02:37 PM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Denise Lones It's so much better to face the conflict, than run away. Unless you concretely decide that leaving or letting it go is the best course. The thing to know is - you do have options.  Thank you for bringing this topic to light.

Sep 20, 2021 04:38 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Denise- your point about practicing in advance is an excellent one. Doing so helps us not fear facing a conflict because we know what our choices are. 

Sep 20, 2021 07:15 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

You can run but you cannot hide! Conflict will find you. Ignoring conflict will make it worse. Thanks for the tips and the reminders.

Sep 23, 2021 06:51 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Your role playing points hit a lot of important scenarios, for both new and seasoned agents .  Enjoy your weekend.  Mark

Sep 25, 2021 04:23 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Sep 25, 2021 07:03 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Denise. They say "practice makes perfect". And it applies to conflict just as with normal conversation. Be prepared. Enjoy your day.

Sep 26, 2021 04:54 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Denise Lones - You bring up a lot of great questions. However, it is all about the communication process and checking the temperature of that communication.  An experienced agent can see what the client is focusing on and neutralize or create a positive out of the concern.

Sep 26, 2021 01:33 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Denise I learned how to deal with conflict in this business right out of the gate - way back in 87.  I had a broker who taught me well how to deal with upset folks and conflict.  There was a lady who was all nuts and crazy over some estate sale situation and he could hear her in the conference room.  He motioned for me to come out (briefly) and suggested and  I get her to talk about something entirely different, ask her a few questions until she calmed down. It worked and has worked ever since.

Sep 26, 2021 02:31 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Denise Lones,

So glad Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week! Being prepared to address conflict and know its going to happen is half the battle.

Sep 26, 2021 07:38 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Just the word conflict can create memories of past irratic conversations with clients who didn't listen, or worse, made decisions not in their best interests.  Great post! 

Sep 27, 2021 02:42 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

So glad the this was featured in Kathy Streib 's selection for this wee

Sep 28, 2021 12:53 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Conflict is never fun but as you mentioned, learning to navigate these conversations is key.

Sep 29, 2021 11:38 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Well written and sound advice. I've dealt with anxiety my whole life and I know those feelings. You are so right about practicing and preparing in advance to maintain composure and keep as calm as possible.


Oct 03, 2021 06:29 AM