Real Estate Agent Magazine Broker News Expressions Leaders Should Steer Clear of

Expressions Leaders Should Steer Clear of

Communication is always of paramount importance in real estate brokerage firms. Brokers typically wish for their agents to communicate more efficiently and professionally; one way of accomplishing this goal is leading by example.

Language can be powerful, says Jo Anne Preston, a workforce and organizational development expert and author of Lead the Way in Five Minutes a Day: Sparking High Performance in Yourself and Your Team. According to Preston, how we communicate with our agents can have a tremendous effect; therefore she recommends being mindful and intentional with how you use words when engaging them.

Though some language might appear harmless, its misuse may make members of your team feel disrespected, disengaged, uncomfortable or left out. Here are eight words and phrases Preston recommends eliminating from your work vocabulary.

It’s best to steer clear of using words such as “subordinate” that could make your team feel lesser, says Preston. Instead, describe staff by their profession and offer praise such as, for instance: “our top agent who works in Kansas City.” Or try different terms like, for instance “my team,” “my colleagues,” frontline employees” or even just people doing great work here.”

By calling someone “leader,” rather than “manager,” you will highlight a more positive side to overseeing others–working to motivate and inspire them–rather than emphasizing any power differential between their role and that of other leaders. “Calling someone a leader is like giving them an immense compliment,” according to Preston. It shows they are more than simply their title implies–they truly embody leadership characteristics as part of who they are as an individual.

Don’t assume your audience will understand every acronym, suggests Preston. If they’re unfamiliar with a term, they could feel uncomfortable asking for clarification or simply tune out altogether. “Each time you use an acronym,” she notes, “your listeners’ brain has to take time figuring out what the term stands for while you continue talking – which means they won’t pay attention when it’s your turn again!

Preston likens using an aconym to attending high school math class; if one spends too long trying to understand the first step, they could miss the second and miss producing the answer to the problem altogether.

“I Am a Perfectionist By labeling yourself a perfectionist, you may inadvertently send the message that all members of your team should operate with similar idealistic standards, leading them to unattainable standards, according to Preston. Instead of this language she suggests instead using terms like “Striving for Excellence” and “Working Hard and Giving Your Best Attempt,”

Brokers wouldn’t exist without agents, so it is essential that as leaders they recognize this fact. A team effort helps make any brokerage successful; “it can be easy to forget to thank people,” according to Preston who witnessed her manager taking credit for her work years prior and resolved never repeat the practice again. By sharing credit equally among team members using terms like “we” or “us”, you will foster greater unity while making employees feel like integral parts of the group.

Subtlety in communication is crucial, yet often neglected. One example is referring to women as “girls”, which can feel belittling for adults who identify as female. Calling grown women “girls” sends the wrong message about professional status or being taken seriously as someone on your team who identifies nonbinarily or otherwise.

Though likely not the speaker’s intent, this phrase excludes females by gendering it. Instead of saying, “You Guys”, say something more inclusive like: Everyone, Folks or All of My Team or “Y’All”.

According to Preston, using complex language can cause listeners to tune out. You should ensure your message is accessible so they can absorb your words fully – watching for any glazed-over looks or signs of distraction can help ensure they can absorb what you are saying. When in doubt, ask yourself whether a general audience would understand what you’re stating as they read your work.

Talking Tips
Preston offers advice to leaders looking to build up their teams. Make your audience feel respected, included, engaged, motivated, valued, heard, safe and comfortable by speaking in ways that foster teambuilding. Here’s how.

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