IT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAY; IT'S HOW YOU SAY IT

HOW MANY PEO­PLE do you talk to in the course of a day? In real es­tate the peo­ple we meet are from all walks of life, mean­ing we have to man­age a range of per­son­al­i­ties and ex­pec­ta­tions, and all with dif­fer­ing styles of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Heidi Walkin­shaw outl

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - HEIDI WALKIN­SHAW has been im­mersed in prop­erty man­age­ment for over 14 years’ deal­ing in all as­pects from leas­ing to prop­erty man­age­ment, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and team man­age­ment. She is now a coach with Real + and is pas­sion­ate about sys­tem im­ple­men­ta­tion

Heidi Walkin­shaw

IT IS A TRUTH uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged that 10 per cent of con­flict arises be­cause of a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion, while 90 per cent is due to the in­cor­rect tone of voice. In fact, when it comes to com­mu­ni­ca­tion 55 per cent of what we say is through our body lan­guage.

When you have a think about your com­mu­ni­ca­tion style, are you aware of your ap­proach and how some­one may per­ceive you in the first seven sec­onds? That’s all it takes for a first im­pres­sion to reg­is­ter. Do you have a com­mu­ni­ca­tion ap­proach that is pos­i­tive and at­tracts busi­ness, or one that may hin­der the op­por­tu­nity to build rap­port?

So what are some of the ar­eas that we might like to look at when it comes to our body lan­guage?

1EYE CON­TACT

Eye con­tact helps to com­mu­ni­cate your sin­cer­ity and also as­sists in in­creas­ing how di­rectly your mes­sage will be re­ceived. Look­ing around, or any­where but at the per­son you are com­mu­ni­cat­ing with, can be per­ceived as un­trust­wor­thy and show a lack of con­fi­dence. It is wise to max­imise eye con­tact as much as pos­si­ble, keep­ing your gaze re­laxed and steady, en­sur­ing that you don’t cross over into ‘crazy eyes’ ter­ri­tory.

2BODY POS­TURE

Your body pos­ture goes a long way in com­mu­ni­cat­ing how you present your­self and this in­cludes how you stand or sit. It’s an in­ter­est­ing so­cial ex­per­i­ment to watch how open oth­ers are to re­ceiv­ing a mes­sage by watch­ing their pos­tur­ing. Arms folded and body turn­ing away is usu­ally a pretty good in­di­ca­tion that a mes­sage is not be­ing re­ceived well, while slump­ing over can give some­one else an ad­van­tage. Try an ex­per­i­ment on your­self; when you are talk­ing with some­one, slump over and then sit up straight. You will no­tice a dif­fer­ence in how you feel, even within your­self, when you are sit­ting up and tak­ing no­tice.

DO YOU HAVE A COM­MU­NI­CA­TION AP­PROACH THAT IS POS­I­TIVE AND AT­TRACTS BUSI­NESS, OR ONE THAT MAY HIN­DER THE OP­POR­TU­NITY TO BUILD RAP­PORT?

RE­MEM­BER THAT PEO­PLE WILL PER­CEIVE YOUR MES­SAGE DIF­FER­ENTLY DE­PEND­ING ON THE SIT­U­A­TIONS THEY MAY CUR­RENTLY HAVE IN THEIR OWN LIVES.

3WATCH YOUR HANDS

Are you a hand talker? Some of us fall into the ‘Guilty’ cat­e­gory of hand talk­ing, yours truly in­cluded. While we talk with our hands, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber what those hand ges­tures may be com­mu­ni­cat­ing. Ges­tures can help by adding to your mes­sage, keep­ing in mind that visual com­mu­ni­ca­tion goes straight into the long-term mem­ory bank, while words writ­ten on a page spend their time in the short-term mem­ory. How­ever, if you are one to ges­ture, keep those hand move­ments open and warm, rather than er­ratic.

4SPATIAL AWARE­NESS

How far you space your­self from another per­son can also im­pact your com­mu­ni­ca­tion. I’m sure we have all met some­one who is a close talker; you know, the ones who get so close to you that you can see the whites of their eyes and ev­ery in­di­vid­ual pore on their face. This type of com­mu­ni­ca­tion can lead to a feel­ing of in­tim­i­da­tion, which may even back you into a cor­ner. Re­mem­ber the bub­ble of per­sonal space, es­pe­cially if you are a close talker; just tak­ing a few steps back can help with build­ing rap­port.

5A LIT­TLE SMILE GOES A LONG WAY

Don’t for­get to smile! Your face can some­times give you away if you aren’t care­ful and a skilled poker player. A stern, se­ri­ous fa­cial ex­pres­sion will as­sist in get­ting a di­rect mes­sage across, while re­mem­ber­ing to smile will com­mu­ni­cate that friendly mes­sage you would like to send.

Re­mem­ber the old say­ing, ‘You get more flies with honey than you do with vine­gar’? It’s an oldie, but a good one to bear in mind. Ton­al­ity and the in­flec­tions in your voice can ex­press your mes­sage more than you might think. A con­ver­sa­tional tone can as­sist with build­ing rap­port, while an ag­gres­sive tone can very quickly turn a re­la­tion­ship sour. Be cau­tious when you are com­mu­ni­cat­ing, ei­ther over the phone or face to face; re­mem­ber that peo­ple will per­ceive your mes­sage dif­fer­ently de­pend­ing on the dif­fer­ing sit­u­a­tions they may cur­rently have in their own lives.

Build­ing rap­port with oth­ers takes time and there is no real quick fix. While some per­son­al­i­ties will hit it off straight away, oth­ers are a slow burn. Time and pa­tience are the ul­ti­mate keys to build­ing long-last­ing re­la­tion­ships with clients and cus­tomers.

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