Recently, while attending an industry event, I overheard two young real estate professionals talking about a competitor. Their negative opinion of the person was surprising. Especially when I learned they had never actually met the broker in question, much less executed a deal with him. I happen to know the person to be an exceptional human being.
The moment led me to think about how professionalism goes well beyond deal making, accountability and organizational skills. Speaking respectfully about industry partners and competitors is critical when it comes to building long-term business relationships.
Everyone, myself included has made a snap judgment that proved false. However, with experience, we learn from this unsavory tendency of human nature. Nonetheless, it can be a difficult thing to overcome.
In almost every profession, stories are told about people, clients, and even our own colleagues where we make quick decisions despite little background knowledge or personal interactions. My recent experience served as a perfect reminder that we have the responsibility to not only manage our own careers but protect the reputation of others through what we say.
In a larger sense, we must set the standard for excellence in our interactions and be the very best example for others to follow – including the next generation of future minded leaders. With this in mind, consider these three (3) important factors for success when dealing with others:
- Take the necessary time to evaluate a person’s character. With this comes the unique opportunity to give people space to either prove us wrong, or to justify our initial beliefs.
- We must be diligent about how we work. Real estate is a juggling act. We compete against each other for business, but we must also collaborate, handle transactions together, and communicate to close deals. How we handle these relationships is critical in this business that relies heavily on personal interactions.
- Build and support a dynamic culture where colleagues are treated with respect and this positive mindset extends outside of your company. Higher standards can and will have an extraordinary impact.
Missed opportunities to properly evaluate someone’s character can have serious consequences. Lead with professionalism and be objective. John Wooden perhaps said it best, “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.”
See the best in people and give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. You will be pleasantly surprised by what comes from it.