Mindful awareness of small details yields a huge impact on new relationships. Wendy and I had an appointment with a realtor who had been recommended to us. We had a short phone chat, then met her for the first time at a property site. When we pulled up, she was already there, talking on her cell phone. After gathering our belongings, we exited the car. She was still on the phone. We stood by the car waiting. She continued her phone chat. We took a few steps in her direction. She talked on, back to us. A few minutes later, she slipped her phone back in her purse and, without a word, headed for the front door. We followed, still never having made eye contact, or even said hello. She fiddled with the lock box, got the door to open, then walked in, back to us, still without having acknowledged our presence.
How (not to) start a conversation (or make a sale)
I’ve discussed in recent blog posts https://petergibb.org/how-do-you-begin-a-conversation/, the key behaviors that launch a mindful conversation. This mindful awareness is all about the details that establish a basis for a relationship. Whether it’s a sale, a romance, or a casual chat after church, it’s always the same. No matter what the end goal might be, it all starts with, and depends on, establishing a connection and a sense of trust.
The basic elements are simple, but as this story illustrates, so often totally ignored.
- Make eye contact
- Learn and use the other person’s name
- Use physical gestures when appropriate (handshake, touch, hug etc.)
- Exchange a few words of easy greeting (aka “small talk”)
- Pay attention. Listen.
It’s like building a house. The first step is to lay the foundation. Without the foundation, the house will not last long. Same for this conversation. It’s going nowhere. So many people jump over these easy, foundation building steps, rushing to go nowhere.
No Mindful Awareness = No Sale
As you may already have guessed, there was no sale made that day. And the truth is there wasn’t much this realtor could have done to create a sale that day. But there is a lot she could have done that might have laid a foundation for a future sale, maybe a year, maybe five years down the road. Real estate (and life) are long term propositions with many unpredictable turns in the road. When you create the foundation for good relationships, there’s no telling where that might lead.
When relationships and the right preparation come together, things happen. Even good preparation, without the relationships, makes the hill a steep climb. Mindful relationships, nourished by mindful conversation, create solid foundations for whatever future you envision. Mindful conversation may be the mot important life skill you never learned in school.
For a deeper understanding of what Mindful Conversation is, check out https://petergibb.org/
For an interesting study of some of the deeper issues around Mindful Conversation, check out this interesting book by Diane Musho Hamilton https://www.shambhala.com/compassionate-conversations.html