Fischer: Seek to understand and practice these final key habits
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Dr. Stephen R. Covey
Hang with me here. We are almost done. In this final article of the series about incorporating Covey’s 7 Habits to realize your real estate goals and dreams, we start with one of the most difficult, yet fundamental habits.
Last week, I heard an interview Britain Covey, the recent Ute football hero of the Rose Bowl (even though the Utes lost, he made history as he was the first Ute to ever return a kickoff for a touchdown in a bowl game) and grandson of Dr. Covey. He stated that the most difficult habit for him is habit 5: First seek to understand, and then to be understood.
Relative to real estate, this habit is essential for both the Realtor and the client. The Realtor must first listen, without the intent to reply or pawn their own story off as their client’s. If a client is attempting to communicate to their agent that they are looking for a spacious home with a large, immaculately landscaped yard with plenty of high-maintenance plants and flowers, for example, and the agent lets the client know that that is absolutely the furthest thing from what he wants, since the agent, him or herself, would certainly not want that for themselves, then they have not practiced habit 5 and there is likely to be frustration on many levels throughout the process. Yet, at the same time, if the client explains that he wants this aforementioned home and continues to explain that he would like it to be less than two years old and located in a highly coveted neighborhood for under $500,000, then we have a problem as well. We need to understand one another, and that can only be done by listening, with that intent in mind.
Once the Realtor and client have each communicated the wants and needs, coupled with the reality check, then habit 6, Synergize, can come into play. To be clear, synergizing is not compromising. Rather than real estate, I’m going to use a marriage example since I’m clearly the expert in this arena (two years into the third marriage and still on a month-to-month contract). In my attempt to learn a little along the way, I have come to the conclusion that marriage must be a practice in quantum mathematics. For example, in Newtonian math, 1+1=2. In quantum math, 1+1=1. In Covey’s words, “Synergy is better than my way or your way. It’s our way.” Once the Realtor and client understand one another, it doesn’t need to be the client’s mansion or the agent’s shack, there may be a third alternative that both can see through to together.
This brings us to the final habit. I refer to this as the dreaded No. 7, Sharpen the saw. Not incorporating this habit is probably one of the primary reasons I have so many past marriages from which I can glean wisdom. Sharpening the saw means having a balanced self-renewal program. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (refer to “The Shining”). Hi, I’m Jen F. and I’m a workaholic. In all seriousness, I do take time to eat right and exercise. I also like to read and learn … and I like to work. What is a home for, however, if not to enjoy yourself in? Decorate, craft, dance, draw, play games, rest and all else that brings memorable occasions of joy. The home is the place where we keep the tools to sharpen the saw.
Only two weeks into the new year and we’ve already begun the paradigm shift. Meantime, I think I’ll be proactive and practice habit 7, while relationship building and seeking to understand by going skiing.
Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.