How to Handle a Controversy; Keep Calm and Resolve On

In this wild and wacky world of real estate, there are times that difficult situations and conversations present themselves. It is our role as a REALTOR to deal with these situations in the best way possible. Each of us have our own way that we respond to these challenges. This article explores how we can achieve better results and keep a clearer head during these times.

LISTEN: Yes, I realize that you already do this and I want you to pay even more attention to this piece. When someone is unhappy, a good part of the time they just need to be heard. Sometimes we jump in and defend a position or other times we attempt to fix the problem — anything to make it stop! Relax yourself and hear what the person is saying without thinking about what your response might be. When we are ready to jump in we are not giving them or ourselves the benefit of being truly present.

CLARIFY: Don’t hesitate to clarify anything that you are not clear on.  “I want to make sure I am understanding the situation completely, do I hear you saying……….?” Do not assume anything. Sometimes in our own place of how we react, we override the natural curiosity that is so beneficial in these types of circumstances. What are you most curious about in this situation?

VALIDATE: “I understand that you are upset,” or “I hear that you feel angry about this,” may be a couple of examples of this. As humans, we all look for validation — notice that you are not validating their behavior or their position, just their feelings.

ACTION: Is there something that can be done in this situation? What course of action might be appropriate? If there is an action that can be taken, clarify what that action is and identify any follow up that needs to happen. And then make sure you DO IT! If you make an agreement to get back with this person by the end of the work day, make the call. You may not have the answer you hoped to get to them but remember they are expecting something from you, so let them know the status, keep your agreement! This is so important!


Finally, do not forget to notice what is happening for you during these times. Do you feel afraid? Do you find yourself getting angry? Whatever it is, notice it without judgment — pay attention to yourself as well as the other person. How lovely to experience “what is” without judgment of ourselves or others.


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