Whenever there’s a bump in the road, teams members look up to their leaders for assurance. Provide support by being the calm voice of reason, taking initiative and aligning your plans with your desired outcome.


In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This April, go Back to Basics with Inman.

Sometimes, you can’t fight what’s going on around you — you just have to accept it. We’ve been preparing our whole lives for the situation that’s presenting itself to us at this very moment. We’ve been preparing to deal with whatever comes our way, and now is the time to put our acquired skills to the test. 

After all is said and done, my coaching team will be stronger. But this isn’t just exclusive to us. We will all grow and come out stronger after this. 

We will be more adept at our jobs and in roles, no matter what they might be. We will find ourselves to be better real estate agents, parents, friends and spouses. There is so much positivity and gratitude that will result from this difficult situation. 

Prepare for the situation

Think of it as turbulence on a plane. When the staff or the pilot comes over the intercom and lets you know everything is alright, you immediately relax. You feel more at ease than you would if you were just left there questioning what’s going on. 

This anxiety-provoking time is much like a period of turbulence for a lot of us. However, instead of a flight attendant assuring us that everything’s OK, our days are filled with grim, scary news.

There’s a storm happening right now. If you’re in real estate, you’re the flight crew. By getting on the intercom to calm your team’s and clients’ worries, you will relieve more stress than you know. 

Saying that you have a contingency plan in place and that you’ve already reached out to the mortgage broker, the lawyer and the movers is one of the best things you can do to ease anxiety and fear. This turbulence will not last forever. You need to tell them what your strategic plan is. 

Align your plans

I work with a desire to mold what I’m doing and align it with the world. I’m always envisioning an optimal outcome. When we’re dealing with a difficult situation, we can either give into our natural, gut reaction, or we can be responsive. 

By being responsive, you allow yourself to connect your mind, body and spirit and align yourself with the outcome you desire most. If you’re responsive, you’re considering what you’re saying and how you’re saying it — all in regards to only one thing. 

That one thing is your highest level outcome. Some people believe that the “highest level outcome” is what’s of service to you and the person you’re interacting with. Others think it’s the one goal you desire or small victories. It all depends on the individual.

Because of this stressful time, we’ll end up with a higher mutual respect toward each other in the long run. We’ll end up being closer to one another. We’ll strive for better, higher-quality service. 

It is absolutely vital for leaders to be responsive right now to what’s going on around us. When people are experiencing fear or stress, it’s important for us to be able to adjust our plans and mindset as soon as possible.

Respond to the desired outcome

The formula for the most desired outcome is “E” plus “R” equals “O.” The equation stands for an “event” that occurs, your “response” to it and the “outcome” you want to see.

The power of this equation is that the outcome is what we focus on. If we’re responsive, we’re focusing on the outcome we want to get to. 

If you’re not focusing on the outcome, you’re not responsive. Instead, you’re reactive. This means that your decisions will be based on fear, stress and negativity rather than the ease and calmness you’ll find when your decisions are based on being responsive.

If you lose the ability to impact an outcome in your life, you lose all the power you have in a certain situation. Take this time to lead your teams, and take initiative. Start by leading your team online.

Take action

Create a schedule

When we’re faced with absolute unpredictability and uncertainty, having a schedule is a saving grace, both for you and your team. 

Take this time to create opportunities for your employees to connect with one another and with you as their team leader. This could via a daily update call or a team text that keeps everyone in the loop and aware of business issues and progress. 

These daily check-ins will not only allow you to control workflow, they’ll also help you stay updated on your team’s health and well-being.

Acknowledge reality

Everyone — and I mean everyone — is plugged into the news right now. You need to acknowledge that you and your senior employees are probably going to be basing your daily or weekly decisions on official advice from the government or medical professionals. 

Communicate that to your team members. This allows them to know that future work changes are inevitable. Your commitment to them and their concerns reinforces trust during these trying times. 

Use alternative communication methods

This situation will bring great change to our businesses, but not a change that we can’t prevail over. Online conferencing platforms aren’t a new concept. With COVID-19 limiting our face-to-face communication and interactions, online meetings are becoming more and more prevalent. 

Agents have the modern tools and knowledge at their disposal. Now more than ever, it’s important to increase your use of modern technology that facilitates remote interactions, such as virtual presentations and video conference calls.

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at either @kathleenblackcoaching, @thetop1percentlife, or through her Web site ItTakesa.Team.

After 25 years, Inman Connect is coming to you. We’re transcending our legendary events in a live digital event, Inman Connect Now. Get ready for the top industry leaders plotting the path forward, new business ideas and opportunities, networking like you’ve never imagined it, and tons of exciting new magic, all straight to you. It’s all part of an epic new Inman experience, Connect Now, June 2-4, 2020. Click here to save your seat.

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