How Open To Change Are You? … Really? … Honestly?

by Nicole Mangina on March 4, 2009

I like to project the persona that I am completely relaxed and a go with the flow kind of person.  That I take it all in stride.  Well, the reality is that when it comes to change I am so completely not that way!  I like my comfort zone.  After all, don’t we all?  I can be sitting in a meeting and someone is talking about a new approach or way to do something and in my mind I am thinking to myself ‘this is a ridiculous idea, lets just move on to something else’. (Please note, I am not saying that I’m the braniac and everyone else doesn’t know what is going on.  Quite the opposite actually, usually the ideas presented are really good ones, I am just resisting them because it is something new and different.)

So maybe I am the only one that feels this way when new things are presented, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that maybe I’m not.  Case in point.  I got a call yesterday from another real estate agent that is a friend of mine.  She was feeling really down about her business and frustrated that she didn’t have anything going on and the clients that she had been working with just listed their house with someone else.  We chatted for a while about where she was at in her business and what her database looked like and what she was doing in her daily business practices.  It turns out she was not getting a lot of referrals from her clients, but she also was not keeping in touch with them.  I take that back, she does mail to them on a regular basis, but she has not been calling her clients or getting together with them to truly keep that relationship going.  Not to point any fingers, but we had talked about this over a year ago that she needed to be calling her clients and she hadn’t started doing that yet.  (This is the resistant to change part.)  So yesterday I told her to write down the names and numbers of 15 clients, call each of them, schedule a coffee appointment with someone to get together and catch up and then write a note to each person that she talked to saying that it was great chatting.  And then the kicker was I asked her to call me when she was done.  (A little extra accountability never hurts when implementing change.)  Well she did it!  And what’s more, she sounded like a completely different person in the second phone call versus the first.  In the first conversation you could hear the lack of energy and the frustration in her voice.  In the second call, she was bubbly and happy and excited!  She even found someone that is thinking about buying a house.  Hooray!!!!

A side note on calling clients to keep in touch with them.  This is to truly get to know them as people.  Be authentic and be yourself.  This is not to ask them who they know that wants to buy and sell real estate.  They already know what you do.  This is about caring about the people in your life.

So what can you do if you are resistant to change?  The first is to just notice how you feel when change is introduced to you.  For me I can instantly feel myself close down and push it away internally.  I have learned to just let those emotions be there, but not to listen to them or put any weight in them in which case they go away pretty quickly.  Then I just allow myself time to sit with the idea and really decide weather or not it is something that works for me.  Maybe it takes 5 minutes or maybe I need to go for a walk to mull it over, but the point is that I do not take my first reaction as the true and correct answer.  Then try it out.  Sometimes a little blind faith goes a long way.  I have lots of stories of trying what I thought were ‘silly’ ideas in my career that were suggested to me by other people and low and behold they worked with some pretty fabulous results!

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