Dogs let us know when they’re not happy with us.
They do us this tremendous favor of audible and visual warnings.
Pretty much everyone knows not to approach a growling dog baring his teeth with a ridge of hair standing up down his spine.
When we see and hear those warning signs, we retreat or approach with extreme caution.
Most people do us that same favor through the tenor of their voice and their stance and mannerisms . . . Anyone who knows you knows when you’re “in a mood” and approaches with caution.
Why is this important stuff?
Unless you enjoy getting bitten, you heed the warnings.
Often the cause of the growl has nothing to do with you and everything to do with that person “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” . . . an accumulation of frustrations culminating with YOU as that “straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
We never know what’s happened in that angry person’s world today.
Here’s how to avoid getting bitten and still accomplish the mission:
First – NOTICE! If you fail to notice you’re in danger, you’ll charge forward into a surprise gauntlet of unpleasantness.
Give space – Now that you’ve noticed, STOP – PAUSE – Back off to create a buffer between you and “Mr Angry”
Assess – Take a little time to think about strategy for when and how to move forward. Think about the recent past and look for clues as to what precipitated the anger. If you can’t identify the source, the best course of action is a large measure of empathy because all signs are pointing to a trigger that has nothing to with us. Offer an ear. that’ll likely go a long way.
Acknowledge your role – In the event your assessment reveals that you are in part, in fact, the source of the agitation, acknowledge this and take responsibility. Humility sometimes goes a long way even if it kills you to do it. This invites the combatant to do the same . . . It’s time to offer alms and/or share a peace pipe.
Make NO sudden moves – Proceed with caution. Hopefully the “Give Space” phase of this process helped defuse the “Crazy-making” thereby creating more neutral ground from which to work.
Now is the time to be Polite and Firm and DIRECT!
In essence, we’re ready now to say: “Now that we’ve made it through that skirmish, let’s get down to business and work together to CLOSE this deal.”
So often, we allow ourselves to feel attacked when another person growls. This signifies an aggrandized self perception of personal power . . . We are NOT the only person in Mr Angry’s life, and we shouldn’t take responsibility for Mr Angry’s anger.
After all of the above, we could also come to the conclusion that Mr Angry is just an angry person . . . so we grin and bare it on behalf of our client.
. . . and some people say we REALTORS aren’t worth the money we make . . .