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Usually this first article of the newsletter is devoted to some issue related to the practice of 203k consulting, however, as a result of the number of private coaching calls I have received recently, I felt it important to pick up the second installment of the Art of Communication series that was started in May.
In the first part of the series, a list of four of the seven basic elements of communication was discussed. In this installment, I want to complete the list as well as relate them to the role of a 203k consultant.
I think the most important element of the role of the 203k consultant is to be an extremely clear and accurate communicator. You will find that many clients (and their real estate agents) donâ€™t really hear much of what you tell them at the initial consultationâ€“ especially the things they donâ€™t want to hear. As was listed in the first part of the article, the 3rd basic component of communication is NOISE. For our purposes, noise can and does refer to the distractions and misinformation that your client has or is receiving from other parties involved in the transaction. For that reason, it is important to back up what you say in writing. On a recent coaching call, I shared how I add an informational letter to the front of the feasibility report. This is a great tool to ensure everyone understands the steps and information you are giving them. For a sample of a cover letter that I used in a recent report, refer to the Feasibility Report in this monthâ€™s Success Supplies CD.
Now on to the next installment regarding â€œThe Art of Communicationâ€:
1. Feedback. Both the sender and receiver constantly elicit verbal and nonverbal feedback to the other person.
2. Replication. The duplication of understanding in one person that is in the mind of another person. Replication is an approximate goal and philosophically not perfectly possible, though desired.
3. Understanding. An approximation of what the message means to the sender by the receiver.
Excellent communication is the ability to transmit a message by the sender to a receiver and have that message replicated in the receiver's mind. Excellent communication is the ability to receive a transmitted message by the sender and have the receiver be able to replicate the form and intent of the message in the receiver's mind. If the receiver is uncertain about some aspect of a communication, it is the responsibility of the receiver to clarify the communication through the artful use of questions. The transmitting communicator also accepts the responsibility for the result of a communication. This means the transmitter must be certain to code a communication so it is received in a manner that is understandable to the receiver.
All of this is of no consequence if a person is uncomfortable in the communication process to begin with.
Do you ever feel uncomfortable communicating with people in a "one on one" setting? If so, you will benefit from the following exercises that are designed to help ease discomfort in one on one situations. Please ask a friend to help you. Also consider recording the exercise. Listening to ourselves talk is very revealing. It helps us pin-point faulty language or issues with our diction that need correction.
INTRODUCTORY INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION EXERCISES
Sit across from your partner at a distance of 18-48 inches. For two minutes you must both sit in silence. You must look at your partner for the entire two-minute period. You succeed in this exercise if you are able to keep your eyes on your partner for the entire two minutes. It is not important if your partner maintains eye contact with you. It is only important that you look the entire two minutes at the other person's face or eyes without moving your glance to anything else.
When you have your partnerâ€™s approval for completing this exercise you may move to the closure exercise below.
Sit across from your partner at a distance of 18-48 inches. You will ask your partner to look at various objects or locations in the room until you have asked your partner to look at a total of 20 objects. After your partner looks at each of these objects, you will say, "thank you." Once your partner has looked at twenty objects, your partner will tell you that you have successfully accomplished this exercise designed to teach you to close cycles of communication.
With your partner's approval you may move to the next exercise.
Sit across from your partner at a distance of 18-48 inches. In this exercise, you will sit and listen to your partner attempt to harm you emotionally with his words. He has two minutes to go on a verbal rampage against you. He can say anything he wants, using any tone of voice he wants. His objective is to get you to argue or disagree with him. You successfully accomplish this exercise if you remain silent during the entire two-minute time period and maintain eye or face contact without looking away. If you laugh or talk, you must start over. At the end of the two minutes, thank your partner and make sure he knows that this was your exercise and that you know what he said was designed by you, to help you. He meant no harm. You asked him to do this exercise to help you deflect the verbal abuses of others.
With your partner's approval you may move on to the final exercise to help you in confrontational communications.
Answer my question
Sit between 18 and 48 inches across from your partner. Ask them a specific question.
You are going to say, "thank you," when your partner answers you with "no." However, the partner can choose not to respond, change the subject or ask you the question back instead of answering your question with a no. Your partner may do this four times for each of these four questions. He must give you a straight "no" answer on or before the fifth time you ask, "do dogs meow."
You succeed if you only say, "Do dogs meow?" after each nonresponsive answer and when you say "thank you" to the correct answer to the question.
The other three questions are these:
"Are mailmen all women?"
"Do birds eat sharks?"
â€œCan you walk on water?â€
The correct answer to all the questions is "no," and you must eventually elicit a no response from your partner. You may only use the words in the original question. This is how you succeed.
No time limit is necessary, but each question should take no more than two minutes.
The purpose of this exercise is to teach you to remain focused on the goal of your communication and your ability to ask the same question after it has been ignored or a new direction has been taken by your partner.
When these exercises are completed, have your partner express his or her true feelings about you, to you. If anything he said still has you upset, make certain you discuss this now with your partner.
These exercises teach you to communicate and maintain your composure easily and effectively in difficult situations. Having mastered these difficult exercises you will be ready to move toward the macro level of interpersonal communication.
In the next installment, I will discuss a communication technique that is really important to a 203k consultantâ€“ Outcome Based Thinking. Be sure to remember that like any art or skill, practice is necessary to achieve lasting success.