International relations, our intolerance for different, the changing idea of what’s “right,” cyber bullying opposing viewpoints on social media — civility is becoming a lost art in our great country.
The trickle-down effects even infiltrate our local market, where all too often our communication style among fellow real estate agents has turned into a contest of who can send the toughest email.
In my continual quest to raise the bar in real estate, I cannot help but ask: has anyone noticed that civility and respect are disappearing?
How did we get here?
I believe that much of our civility deficiency is attributed to the advancement of electronic communications. We are all guilty of shooting off a text rather than picking up the phone or of sending an email during negotiations instead of meeting face-to-face for lunch.
Some of us are even guilty of sending emoji flowers as a thank you gift, instead of taking time to stop and smell the real roses.
So what can we do to bring back the art of civility to the heart of what we do? Try these five things:
1. Meet rather than email
Step one in finding civility is to go back to basics. This means making it a point to have one-on-one meetings, as we can best represent our viewpoint in person.
2. Pick up the phone
I certainly see the need for creating a paper trail for material communications, however, a personal phone call with discussion and dialogue is still the best remedy to settling any potential pitfalls.
3. Remember the win-win
The goal is that everyone gets to win; therefore, allow for a difference of opinions from all parties without taking it personal.
4. Keep the negotiations between agents
Our clients don’t need to hear every sparring move or verbal punch about their property or the deal.
We are the buffer, and our job is to keep our clients feeling good about their home, who their buyers are and any deals that come their way.
5. Live the ‘golden rule’
Treat others as you would have them treat you. Perhaps by doing so, civility will become a trickle-up effect.
Simply by focusing on your own backyard, that energy can affect your personal and professional life, which can then affect our community and lead to propelling change through the nation.
Who knows — the ripple effect might even impact the entire world.
As we continue to evolve as professionals and leaders in our industry, one can only hope we don’t lose complete sight of the fundamentals that make relationships work, including sincere, open communication constructed with respect.
The art of civility is more imperative today than it ever was before.