Social Intelligence (SI) is one of the complex forms of knowledge. There are a variety of definitions, however, all maintain one commonality: sociability cooperation. Wasn’t it obvious by the title? In this blog post, we will discuss the theory of SI,  key element: S.P.A.C.E., the ways to increase your SI, refresher course, and several book recommendations that discusses the essence of social intelligence (whoops sneak peek). Alright, time to blow some minds away…with knowledge! 

Theory of Social Intelligence

According to Karl Albrecht, Social Intelligence (SI) is the ability to get along well with others and to get them to cooperate with you. Sometimes referred to as “people skills,” SI includes an awareness of situations and the social dynamics that govern them, and a knowledge of interaction styles and strategies that can help a person achieve his or her objectives in cooperating with others. Additionally, SI also involves a certain amount of self-insight and a consciousness of one’s own perceptions and reaction patterns.

Several theorists in the past decade have expanded on Albrecht’s theory of social intelligence in relation to emotional intelligence and intelligence quotient (IQ). Before diving into Albrecht’s theory, we will briefly pay homage to one particular theorist that has imparted his findings in relation to SI.

Harvard Professor Howard Gardner, he presented the idea that human intelligence is more than a single trait or intelligence quotient (IQ). Gardner’s claim led to his “MI” theory, (multiple intelligence), in which there are eight different forms of intelligence. These eight different levels adhere to at least one of the human potentials.

Many researchers now accept Gardner’s proposition that intelligence is multidimensional, and many believe that each of the key dimensions of intelligence can continue to increase throughout one’s life, given the appropriate experiences, challenges and growth opportunities. However, Gardner’s theory, though complete in itself, is actually incomplete on a much larger scale.

Albrecht’s social intelligence theory expands the multiple-intelligence concept (Gardner’s theory) to include another valuable way to observe the multiple forms of intelligence. From his expanded idea comes the key elements of SI, which inevitably leads to finding success at work, home, and beyond.

Key Element: S.P.A.C.E.

Albrecht breaks down SI into five different levels: S.P.A.C.E. From the five levels comes various succeeding effects. Let us first begin discussing the five levels. According to Albrecht S.P.A.C.E. stands for:

Situational Awareness: This is the ability to read situations and to interpret the behaviors of people in those situations.

Presence: This includes a whole range of verbal and nonverbal behaviors that define you in the minds of others.

Authenticity:  This comprises the behaviors that cause others to judge you as honest, open, and “real.”

Clarity: This is the ability to explain your ideas and articulate your views

Empathy: This is the ability to “connect” with others. (2006).

From S.P.A.C.E. comes the positive effects as noted by the professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology, Ronald Riggio. If one were to follow the five steps that comprise social intelligence, they would develop effective listening skills, knowledge of social roles, rules, and scripts, verbal fluency and conversational skills, social efficacy, and impression management skills.

In summation, the key concept to S.I. is essentially being in-tuned with your surroundings, attentive to others, and becoming social through easy communication. Of course, gaining the effects of S.I is easy, however, developing or increasing our SI is not that easy.

Ways to Increase your SI

“Social intelligence isn’t easy to master—if it were, there wouldn’t ever be another awkward conversation at a party,” (Morin 2019). According to Amy Morin, psychotherapist and best-selling author, there are people who find social intelligence easy to master, while other people may find it quite the opposite.

Sometimes we may enter a socially awkward situation, internally confused and panicky, trying to mentally blow through a list of possibilities on how to abort the mission. Or sometimes we may be a wallflower who yearns to become social but lack the resources to become one.

Well, fear no more! After some thorough research, we have created a small but effective tactical plan to helo increase your SI. The best part is that you do not have to immediately jump to become the “queen of the ball.” Here are our tactics:

  1. Pay close attention to your surroundings. According to Morin, “socially intelligent people are observant and pay attention to subtle social cues from those around them,” (2019).
  2. Practice Active Listening. Active listening is where you reflect back what you believe the speaker said in order to ensure a clear understanding. Further, take the time to think about what the other person is saying. Doing so will encourage more thought on your answer, which will surely impress the other person. 
  3. Increase your Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to control emotions in social situations. For example, a person who does not have emotional intelligence would usually express the wrong kind of emotion at the wrong time. For instance, a person laughing at a funeral. Not good. Through the practice of Emotional Intelligence, comes the result of empathy. 

These are our tactics to help you take the first steps in learning social intelligence. Whether at home or at work social intelligence proves to be a healthy practice to mentality, the self, and the emotions.

Bringing it all together

We realized we threw a mouthful of information at you, but it’s alright! You’ll be feeling more knowledgeable than your next-door-neighbor. Just kidding. But you will definitely feel knowledgeable. Let us do a refresher course. 

What is Social Intelligence? SI is a theory proposed by Karl Albrecht, which is the ability to get along well with others and to get them to cooperate with you. Often referred to as “people skills.”

Key Concept: S.P.A.C.E. Learning the acronym results in amazing effects, and therefore becoming a better person socially. 

Tactics. Pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you. They serve as your social cues. Practice active listening. Increase your Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence results in empathy.

Book Recommendations

Here are some book recommendations we highly suggest reading. They not only prove to increase your knowledge of what we discuss, but they also prove insightful. 

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success

Written by: Karl Albrecht

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

Written by: Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Written by: Daniel Goleman

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

Written by: Amy Morin

Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice

Written by: Howard Gardner

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks, and improve SI. See how AirSend can help you.

“The ins and outs of having the right social media for the right business.”

When it comes to marketing, it is important to create and maintain an online presence through social media. It is 2019, almost 2020, and society is continuously progressing towards an era of digital transformation. According to Salesforce, “Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new- or modify existing – business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and marketing requirements.” 

One of the leading forms of digital transformation is social media. According to Google, the term social media means “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” Social media is the essence of customer interactivity, communication, building relationships, and diversified culture. Let’s begin with LinkedIn.

LinkedIn

I am sure everyone knows what LinkedIn is, however, for those who do not know, LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps- mainly used for professional networking. With LinkedIn you can make business connections, share resumes, and find jobs. Essentially it is the combination of Facebook and Indeed. Several of their mottos are, “Welcome to your professional community,” “Learn the skills you need to succeed,” and “Join your colleagues, classmates, and friend on LinkedIn.” So, what businesses are great for LinkedIn, and how can LinkedIn bring more traffic to your business?

The real power behind LinkedIn: Word of Mouth (WOM). The ability to tap into existing connections and grow your brand. Remember when I said LinkedIn is like Facebook and Indeed mashed together? I mean precisely that. Take realtors, for example. LinkedIn would be one of the perfect platforms to spread business and personality. Realtors can continuously update their feed with pictures of homes that are on the market or sold, have a complete “bio” page, like and comment on other clients’ feeds, and remain in contact with their clients.

Of course, LinkedIn is not entirely like facebook in the sense that LinkedIn is not centered on memes or what your cat is doing. Instead, it is a platform for professionals, businesses, and business to business relationships (B2B) to interact with other aspiring professionals, building a client base, and accumulate referrals. In summation, LinkedIn is the platform where you would want to grow your business in a professional setting( more business-like). Nothing like Twitter, where you tweet every Monday you wish it was Friday. But, Twitter is not all that bad for business, and here’s why. 

Twitter

Twitter’s call to action is pure genius: see what’s happening in the world right now. “Why is it pure genius, Miss AirSend, writer?” I’m glad you asked. The ability to keep up with what’s happening in the world is something like, “The Neverending Story.” The ability to search the world with trending hashtags, which are usually comprised of one word, and then receive thousands of posts related to that word, is honestly, something that is far beyond my imagination. Twitter is a gold mine for marketing and rhetoric. We have crossed the threshold of what we originally thought was rhetoric into a new form of rhetoric: 280 characters or less. It’s genius! Pardon the rant, let me go ahead and explain to you why Twitter is excellent for growing business. 

  1. Follow your Interests
  2. Here what people are talking about 
  3. Join in the conversation 

These three steps are on the homepage of Twitter, and subsequently, the key to growing your business through an online presence. Unlike LinkedIn, where a professional presence is the hallmark to success, Twitter actually cares about what your cat is doing. Or what you had for breakfast. Think of Twitter as your personality platform.

For marketing consultants, life coaches, and even mentors, Twitter is a great source of advertising. Or software company, realtors, public figures, etc. When viewers see your personality through your feed, it can lead to potential clients. Potential clients also use WOM to their followers to check out your business/twitter. Twitter is also great for interaction with followers. Customers and clients want to see personality when they research businesses. Twitter is one of the most versatile diversified platforms. Looking for more of a visual appeal for your business, try out Instagram!

Instagram

Whereas life coaches and realtors would find Twitter to be a great place to relay information in 280 characters or less, designers or make-up artists, for example, would find Instagram to be more advantageous. Why? Again, it is for visual appeal. With Instagram, there is the ability to create 24-hour stories, Instagram TV, upload videos and photos, and also explore like-minded creators. Much like Twitter and LinkedIn, Professionals can also keep in contact with potential clients, reply to comments, and maintain an active presence, which, thanks to the user interface (UI), is incredibly easy.


Further, Instagram is marketed towards creators,i.e. artists, who post captivating photos. Designers and make-up artists have a massive presence to the Instagram community, because, again, there is a personal connection between professional and client, and visual appeal in their market. Of course, Instagram is a place for foodies as well. Having photogenic food posted all over your feed is also a plus to freelance food writers (yes, other writers as well).

Instagram is a social media art haven. It is a platform that caters to the idea of portfolios. Of course, realtors, life coaches, and other professionals can have an Instagram as well; however, it is more beneficial for them to apply their rhetoric through words rather than pictures. 

Facebook Pages

Facebook made from concrete alphabet top view on green grass

“Create a beautiful online home for your business.” This is the motto for Facebook Pages. The benefit to facebook pages is that anyone can have one. It is a platform dedicated to a variety of content. Pictures, pictures with words, or words themselves. Creators, innovators, analyzers, and other professionals, can create an online presence with their business/portfolio. Facebook pages are great for building a community, promoting events, sharing offers, and selling things on Facebook Marketplace.

We are now in an era where technology has become our go-to marketing/business. With digital transformation, advertising has become more accessible than ever. There is now the ability to have user feedback, customer interaction, fast updates, and the innovation of marketing analysis, which ultimately improves business. The tricky part when facing technology is figuring out the right approach for the right business. In other words, the right social platform that conveys the right personality of your business.

AirSend helps entrepreneurs and businesses create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help.

“Karma? Yoga? What?”

That’s right, Karma Yoga. I’m sure you are thinking to yourself, “okay, Miss AirSend writer, you’ve officially lost it.” Fear not! I have not lost it just yet. But, really, Karma Yoga! It is an excellent practice to use when working with big or small business, or if you are simply a working professional trying to make a name in society. Karma Yoga is one of the four spiritual paths in Hinduism, one that is based on the “yoga of action.”

To a karma yogi, right work done well is a form of prayer. It is one of the paths in the spiritual practices, others being Raja yoga, Jnana yoga, and Bhakti yoga. So, how do we apply Karma Yoga in the Workplace? What are the principles of Karma Yoga? Well, allow me to first provide the introduction of what the principles are, and then I will tell you how to implement these principles in the workplace. 

Karma Yoga is about purifying the heart and counteracting egoism. It involves the dedication of all work as an offering, with no thought of personal reward. From this rule follows the four guiding principles: Right Attitude, Right Motive, Give up Result, and Serve the Self in All. Let’s begin with the first principle: Right Attitude.

Right Attitude.

The action of some kind or the other (Karma) is unavoidable. If we act as a participant in the cosmic activity of Nature, without expectation of personal gain, our actions become part of the ineffable goodness dwelling in all living beings. What binds us to phenomenal existence (known in Sanskrit as Samsara) is not the action but the idea of doing and enjoying. In other words, rather than thinking of personal gain, think of your work as a contribution to society of which you are a part of. 

Changing your thinking in terms of contributing to the greater good allows for better workflow mentality and alleviates the pressure of trying to work with personal gain in mind. It is always encouraged to have aspirations within society, but one cannot achieve aspirations without contributing.

Right Motive 

When action is done without the expectation of fruits, it becomes liberating – as the action itself is born from the space of selflessness. Karma Yoga can be practiced at all times, under all conditions, anywhere there is a desire to do selfless service and purify the heart. Right Attitude = Right Motive.

To contribute to society without expecting anything in return becomes liberating for the mind. Why? Because you are not continuously thinking which decision will lead you to the most rewards. You, yourself, alleviate the pressure on yourself by removing the expectation of receiving something. Think of it like this.

As a self-serving professional for example, one of their jobs is to maintain connections with their clients. If the professional delivers to the client without expecting anything in return, it is safe to say the job for the professional becomes much easier. There is a peace of mind for the professional, even if the client becomes upset, the professional knows they delivered their best, so they can carry on with the rest of the day with no worry. because they delivered to the client without expectation.

Take out the expectation of reward, and all you have is a selfless worker delivering the quota for their company. To clarify, Karma Yoga is not the same thing as having personal goals within the company. It is great to have the aspirations, however, how can you progress in life if you are always expecting something in return?

Give Up Result

Feel that you are only an instrument and that the inner peace is working through you. Much like an orchestra, you, yourself, are also an instrument that helps create the overall sound of the company. Imagine an orchestra with a first and second violin section. Now, imagine that all you can hear is the sound coming from the first violins. You strain to hear the second violins, but the sounds of the first violins take over. Now, you have an unbalanced orchestra. All you hear is the melody, but no harmony. 

This is the same for the workplace. Do not think of yourself as a tool, but as someone who helps create the overall sound of the company. Someone who enjoys working for their company, and does not expect anything in return. To work and not expect anything, I believe is the true happiness of working. 

Detachment from results also means detachment from the type of job itself. There is no job that is inferior or superior to a different job. Putting this into practice, you will be freed from the bonds of Karma and enjoy peace. Karma, then becomes Karma Yoga, preparing our heart and mind for the reception of Knowledge of the Self. An amiable, loving social nature will arise within.

Serve the Self in All 

In sum, Karma Yoga teaches us to be selfless. To work without expecting anything in return, to consider ourselves a vital piece to the orchestra we are playing, and to detach ourselves from the idea of rewards and the self. By detaching ourselves from the fruits of our actions and offering them back to society, we learn to sublimate the ego.

Work unselfishly. Each job is a teacher of some sort. You can learn different skills by doing different jobs. Each job has different requirements in terms of time, degree of concentration, skills or experience, emotional input, physical energy, will. Try to do whatever job you are doing, well. Be humble and free, rejoice in the welfare of others.

AirSend helps professionals and businesses create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Running a small business is tough. You don’t have a dedicated marketing team to get the word out, easy access to additional funding, or any of the other perks that come with size. Maybe that’s why 50% of small businesses fail within the first two years of opening according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So how do you launch your small business from the trenches of struggle to the heights of success with limited resources?

Go viral.

Going viral means people are sharing your business with co-workers, friends, family — who are sharing it with their co-workers, friends, family — who are also sharing it.

Source: Pexels

And everyone is sharing it because they want to. Not because you’re spending thousands of dollars on ads or bribing them with freebies.

Going viral means exponential growth and exposure at no additional cost or effort from you.

If that sounds good, keep reading.

What do tribes have to do with it?

While not a fail-proof guide to breaking the Internet, Seth Godin’s Tribes contains some valuable tips on how to build a powerful brand — a key to viral success for any business, small or large. In the book, Godin reframes some basic marketing principles around the concept of tribes.

A tribe is a group of people with a shared interest and a way to communicate. Godin encourages people to make tribes and become leaders because the world needs tribes and leaders to encourage progress and enact change.

For a small business:

  • Leader = You
  • Tribe = Loyal Customers
  • Leader + Tribe = Viral Growth

So how do you attract and lead a group of loyal customers that are so excited about your business that they share it with everyone? Other than providing quality products or services, you need to tell a story.

Good stories make history.

Behind every powerful brand is a powerful brand story. Let’s look at how stories contributed to the success of two renowned brands: Apple (ranked by Interbrand as 2019’s most influential brand in the world) and Disney.

Apple

When Apple first entered the tech scene in the 1980’s, computers were seen as large, mysterious machines used only by governments, scientists, and corporations.

The company’s “1984” ad was not only a landmark moment in TV advertising but also a storytelling-as-branding masterpiece. In just one minute, Apple positions itself and its “personal computers” as the rebel — the little guy against giants like IBM and the “establishment” — who will save the world from an oppressive dystopia.

The computer itself isn’t even shown. But the point is clear, and the rest is history.

Disney

Disney as a brand epitomizes the power of great storytelling.

It does the opposite of most companies. Most companies create products, then spin stories around those products. Disney tells stories, then makes products to fit the stories.

First comes Mickey Mouse, then the figurines, mouse ear headbands and amusement parks. First comes Frozen, then the Elsa dresses, snowflake-shaped candy and skating shows.

It’s a unique approach that has led to great success and which exemplifies the possibilities that open up with great stories.

Source: GIPHY

In a world where attention spans are shrinking and people are bombarded with information from every direction, without a powerful brand you are nothing. And to create a powerful brand you need a powerful brand story.

Get Personal.

You might be thinking — I run a small business. What does Apple and Disney’s large-scale storytelling success have to do with me?

Branding is just as important for a small business as it is for a large one. But with a small business, you are the business. So it’s more about personal branding than anything else.

Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself as a brand. You identify the skills, experiences, and passions that make you who you are as a professional and communicate that in a way that makes people want to work with you.

So how do you create an attractive personal brand? Same way Apple and Disney created industry-changing business brands — tell a good story.

What makes a good story?

Godin gives us two key points.

#1: Good Stories Upset People

Who are you upsetting? If the answer is no one — go back to the drawing board. Powerful stories take a strong stance, and strong stances almost always make someone uncomfortable.

Godin warns against trying to please everyone by diluting what you truly believe in. He stresses that opponents are GOOD. Their opposition strengthens your message and brand.

#2: Good Stories Are Authentic

Have you ever immediately disliked someone because you felt they were being fake? Or the opposite — clicked with a person because of their authenticity. The same goes for stories, brands, and businesses.

Make sure your brand story reflects your beliefs and values. Customers will be able to tell whether or not you’re being genuine, especially in a small business where you interact with them on a regular basis. And no one likes a fake.

It starts with one.

Building a small business can seem daunting, but remember it only takes 1,000 true fans to be successful and much less than 1,000 loyal customers to go viral.

In fact, it starts with one. One person who shares your business with co-workers, friends, family — who share it with their co-workers, friends, family — who also share it.

So tell your story. Create your tribe. What are you waiting for?

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

“It is not just a book, it is the guidebook to facing the unknown  fear.”

Please note that this blog will be discussing two chapters that we believed carried the most significance to our topic. The whole book is a wonderful read, and as much as we would love to discuss the whole book, the magic should be left for the reader to experience.

The purpose of Fields’s research is to convince readers that having fear of the unknown is necessary for business. Additionally, Fields provides wonderful examples and strategies of how to combat uncertainty when starting a business.  Uncertainty is fear. Fear can be anything when starting a business, such as the unspoken judgment when a project launches, the unpredicted feedback, or simply the fear of an idea being successful or not.

The two chapters we will be focusing on are, “Chapter 1: Why Uncertainty Matters,” and “Chapter 4: Find your Certainty Anchors.” Found in the introduction, Fields discusses filmmakers and CEO’s who turned their life around with fear and an idea. Additionally, he also provides a general layout of what the book will cover and their significance. Every professional is afraid to start their own business, expand on an idea, etc. But, according to the author, we shouldn’t be afraid of uncertainty. The Uncertainty Matters, and here’s why. 

Chapter One: Why Uncertainty Matters

Probably one of the most significant and meaningful inspiration can be found in the first chapter, “When you begin, nothing is certain save the drive to create something worth the effort. The more certain you are of the answer or the outcome in advance, the more likely it is to have been done already- to be derivative- and the less anyone will care, including you. Anything certain has already been done,” (Fields, p. 15). 

Consider this quote to be a Business 101 Guide to learning how to start your practice. To find certainty in an idea means to create something innovating. In other words, the idea should only speak uncertainty. The question then remains, how do we use the uncertainty to our advantage?  

“Creators need data. They need judgment, feedback, and criticism. Without them, there’s no way to know whether what you’re creating is working or not. When you base your actions on random guesses, rather than on relevant information, growth and movement towards brilliance slow dramatically or grind to a halt. Kill constructive judgment and you retard growth, adaptation, and evolution,” (Fields p. 18). Judgment, feedback, and criticism are all uncertain elements that we dread to hear when testing out an idea. Why? Because we do not want to be told our idea is a failure. As leading innovators, our ideas represent who we are, and what we stand for.

Additionally, Fields has taken the opportunity of including subsection that eases the reader into the topic of uncertainty. For example, there is a subsection titled, Amplifying Uncertainty, Exalting Uncertainty, It’s Not Just for Start-Ups and Tech, and Hailed But Reviled. Through each subsection, the author provides amazing examples of other like-minded creators. These creators, much like us in the beginning, had an uncertain idea and ran with it. As reiterated before, when facing uncertainty, it is almost always best not to face the unknown empty-handed. Chapter four is the first step in creating your arsenal.

Chapter Four: Find Your Certainty Anchors 

The purpose of this chapter is to prepare your arsenal for uncertainty. First, we must ask the question, “What is a certainty anchor?” Under the subsection, The Power of Certainty Anchors, the author explains the definition. “A certainty anchor is a practice or process that adds something known and reliable to your life when you may otherwise feel you’re spinning off in a million different directions,” (p. 46). In other words, the concept of certainty anchors is routines or ideas that remain with you at all times.

Certainty anchors could be ideas, rituals, routines, or positive thinking. We find it best to think of Certainty Anchors as routines that help expose my creative process. The reason being is that routines are always there. They are grounding experiences to which you can always return to. In other words, no matter how successful or unsuccessful business is, you can always return to my routines.

Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art,” opens a window into the power of ritual in creative work. “Broader lifestyle routines serve as a salve to calm a bit of the anxiety of creation and to drop an anchor to which we can tether our creative lines, knowing we can then float higher up in the clouds and stay there longer, trusting that we will be able to find our way down,” (p. 47).

Routines, i.e. certainty anchors, help overcome the fear, anxiety, and discomfort of uncertainty. Routines are one of the symbols of familiarity (the other is knowledge). Familiarity helps take on challenges that make you feel productive. You wouldn’t try something new unless you were positive you had the knowledge to do so. Why? Well, again, it is because we know that our familiarity (routines and/or knowledge) cannot be taken away from us.

Conclusion

The first step in dealing with uncertainty is to first acknowledge its presence. The second step is Certainty anchors. Accept the fear (i.e. uncertainty). You can always acknowledge that something exists, but to accept it as a part of creation is different. After acknowledging and accepting the uncertainty, Fields uses the remainder of the book to discuss how to apply uncertainty to your practice.

Throughout the book, there are many examples, advice, and knowledge of how to start a business. Fields’s research revolves around facing uncertainty in the business/professional world. His goal is to provide insight and inspire like-minded entrepreneurs to face fear rather than run away from it.

Fields once said, “Snuffing out uncertainty leads to a sea of prematurely terminated mediocre output…if only we’d had the will to embrace uncertainty, risk, and judgment, and hang on a bit longer. If only we’d learn how to harness and ride rather than hunt and kill the butterflies that live in the gut of every person who strives to create something extraordinary from nothing,” (p.27).

Image result for Uncertainty book

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You’re a real estate expert. You know your city; you know the neighborhood; and you’ve run the comps. But your client just won’t listen. They go on and on about how their great aunt who lives not far from here — maybe thirty minutes — sold her house for $20,000 above the listing price you’re suggesting, and that was 3 years ago. And their cousin sold his for $25,000 above that. And maybe you’re just not the realtor for them.

What do you do?

Do you walk away from the client? Do you argue?

According to George J. Thompson in Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, no. While it is always within your rights to walk away, that should be your last option. And arguing is both unprofessional and ineffective.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get real estate clients to listen, especially when they don’t want to.

Step #1: Stay Calm

Never get upset.

Mushin, which translates to “no mind,” describes a state of being with no ego — no biases. A person in this state is calm and centered. No matter what is happening, she remains undisturbed.

In the book, Thompson says professionals must practice Mushin, especially in high tension situations. He stresses that the moment you show anger is the moment you lose power and any hope of controlling the situation.

Source: Pexels

Step #2: Deflect and Refocus

The two natural reactions to hearing something unpleasant is to grin and bear it or to argue and get sucked in. Neither option leads to a good result when you’re dealing with a difficult real estate client.

Instead, deflect and move forward professionally.

Deflecting phrases include:

  • I appreciate that
  • I’m sorry you feel that way
  • I hear that
  • I understand that

So you might say, “I understand that your great aunt sold her house for more, and I’m sorry you feel that I might not be the right realtor for you…” When deflecting, it’s important to use more than one phrase so you don’t sound abrupt.

After you’ve deflected, it’s time to refocus. The refocusing words are BUT or AND. For example, “… BUT I’m just trying to help you achieve your goal of selling fast.”

When you are deflecting and refocusing, always sound calm and interested; and make sure that everything you say after your refocusing word (BUT or AND) is professional and goal-driven.

Source: Pexels

Step #3: Ask, Explain, and Paint a Picture

Once you’ve refocused the conversation on the goal of your client selling their house, the next steps are as follows:

  1. Ask them to do what needs to be done in order to achieve the goal.
  2. Explain why it’s important.
  3. Present them with their options by painting a clear picture.

In an actual conversation, asking, explaining, and painting a picture look like this:

“Will you let me list your house for $480,000?”

If your client says no or appears unconvinced, add context. Tell them why it’s important they list at $480,000.

“It’s important that we list at $480,000 because that’s the highest you’re going to get in this buyer’s market, and I don’t want to waste your time or have you be disappointed down the line when your house doesn’t sell.”

If your client says no again or is still wavering, present their options.

“If you list at $480,000, you’ll be relaxing in front of the TV in your new home in under a month. If you list for more, you’ll be stuck here for months and will end up saying to me — let’s lower to $480,000. That happens all the time. So let’s list right the first time. You might even be able to move into your new house before Christmas.”

When presenting the options, paint a clear picture and follow this sequence: good, bad, reminder of good. Painting a clear picture helps get your client in touch with the reality of the situation, and sandwiching the bad scenario between the good makes it more likely they will choose the appealing option.

Source: Pexels

Being a realtor can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to help your client but they don’t want to listen. Using these techniques from Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion will help you manage your conversations with clients to help you both achieve the goal of getting their house sold.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help your real estate business here.

“Introducing the Marketing Guide 101: Creating a professional blog.”

Creating a professional blog has become the preferred marketing for many businesses. For modern startups, it has become an absolute must. Of course, starting a professional blog for business is not as easy as one might think. There are many things to consider, such as bringing in traffic, reliability, and networking. Worry not, this blog post will discuss each of these topics.

When starting a professional blog for business, you must think of rhetoric. The goal is to drive traffic to your website/business, so what is the one guaranteed way to have people coming back? Rhetoric is the foundation in which you discover the essence of your business and who you are marketing too. For more tips on Rhetoric, check out our other post, here. For now, this post will simply focus on why you should have a professional blog.

Hot Traffic

Blog posts often convert more customers than dedicated landing pages for paid ads. The reason is that when people go to your blog, they are experiencing a connection with a writer and not a computer. It is important to remember that with blogging the goal is to build a connection with your audience, with the blog serving as a medium. To use blogging effectively, you must leverage search engines and social media.

In other words, continuously publishing new content daily. Publishing daily ensures search engines checking your site regularly for updates, which also means your search traffic goes up, and if your search traffic goes up, there is an increased chance to convert that traffic into customers.

#1 Go-To

Do you know what trait all the most successful business blogs share? Answering the questions that their customers (or potential customers) most frequently ask. The more useful content you publish for your target audience, the likely those prospective clients are sure to come to see you and your brand as the #1 Go-To.

By publishing content in your expertise regularly, over time, you become a reliable resource for your specific industry or niche. And that’s one of the biggest privileges of the internet: you have a chance to compete even with big brands and huge corporations by building trust with your target audience. Becoming the #1 Go-To platform for content also ensures long-term results for your blog.

Connectivity

Having a professional blog with quality articles and an established audience also means attention from other platforms. With the right amount of attention, your professional blog could be headlining the front page. This gives a boost to your article shares if the interviewer shares it with his or her own audience through social media or newsletter.

But, most importantly, having a professional blog allows the opportunity to create genuine relationships with influential business figures, which leads to important new business opportunities and other meaningful connections. That’s why blogging gives a huge boost to your business network.

So, if you are wondering why having a professional blog is important, think of it this way; blogging ensures success for your business and/or platform.

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“3 forms of persuasion = unstoppable success.”

Ethos: Character of the Speaker

Ethos is the first mode of persuasion. The intent of the speaker is to appear credible. According to Aristotle, there are three prerequisites that are necessary to appear credible: Competence, Good Intention, and Empathy. Jeremy Porter, a communication consultant, gives a great example of ethos: George Clooney.

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“If George Clooney was to take the stage and begin talking about the art of acting, he would already have Ethos. People know Clooney is an actor and is good at his craft. He isn’t required to build authority, credibility or trust with his audience. A player from the local theater company is less likely to be known to their audience and may have to build ethos with the audience,” (Porter, 2014). However,  “if he was to take the stage and talk about basketball, he may have to build ethos with his audience because they might not be aware he’s a basketball fanatic. Clooney would have to talk about his love for the game going back to high school, recall his game with the President, and his love for the Dallas Mavericks,” (Porter, 2014).

So, taking the example from Porter, how do we apply it to the marketing industry? Simple enough. Remember, Ethos is how the speaker appears- the character. Additionally, your goal is to appear credible. The way you appear credible is knowing the area of expertise you are in. With the knowledge of your specific field, consumers will want to put their trust in you. Trust is one of the foundations of persuasion. There is a lot of research that goes into knowing what you do, however, if you are like George Clooney, and know what you are talking about, the art of persuasion will be in your hands.

Pathos: Emotional Influence

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Pathos is a persuasive technique that tries to convince an audience through emotions. Pathos appeal to the senses, memory, nostalgia, or shared experience. The goal: build a common bond through shared identity, and inspire action. An example to think of is St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Or if you’re an animal lover, think of the America Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Either way, when a speaker uses pathos, the success of persuasion is to appeal to their emotions. How do you think Shakespeare was so successful in his playwrights? Each time he persuaded his audience to come back through emotion. When your audience begins to feel, the chances of them coming back, or even being persuaded is increased.

My advice: Know who your audience is. Get personal with them. What will pull their heartstrings? Place yourself in their shoes.

Logos: Logical Appeal

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Logos is the appeal towards logical reason. The speaker wants to present an argument that appears to be sound to the audience. It encompasses the content and arguments of the speech. Logos examples in advertisement include the citation of statistics, facts, data, charts, and graphs. Statistics, surveys, facts, and historical data can make a product seem like a more reasonable decision. In essence, do your research.

Logos is particularly important when trying to persuade people who know a lot about the topic you’re addressing. Logos is also important because it can help build ethos. Porter uses another great example that demonstrates Logos: ” Consider the local theater actor who is about to speak on the craft of acting. There is no ethos present if the audience knows nothing about the actor. It’s necessary for the actor to build ethos before the audience sees them as credible, trustworthy, and authoritative. How does the actor build ethos? The actor could share experiences of their acting career, namedrop famous actors they’ve worked with, or show photos of them on stage,” (2014).

Conclusion

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are all vital elements to persuasion. The three forms are the foundational prowess that creates and innovate marketing to what it is now.

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In this blog post, I discussed the ins and outs of the three forms of persuasion, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. To be unstoppable in the working industry, knowledge of the three forms of persuasions is recommended. Absorbing this knowledge will not only help you in the future working industry but also help you understand the five levels of rhetoric. For more information on the five levels of rhetoric, click here.

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“With our Roman rhetorical knowledge, we too can sway our audience, and therefore increase our success. ”

Rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, When understanding rhetoric, the best historical figure to refer to is Cicero, who is probably the most influential writer when it comes to rhetoric. Here, I will discuss the tips and tricks we can learn from Cicero’s five canons of rhetoric and apply them to today’s professional world. Here are the five canons in a nutshell.

Inventio: Systematic search for arguments.

As Aristotle once defined, the invention involves discovering the best available means of persuasion. Here is a strategy I recommend: brainstorm ideas on what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Brainstorming ideas will maximize your persuasion.  

During the inventio phase, it is also crucial to know your audience and what you want to accomplish with your audience. Understanding who your audience is will provide the foundation of how you should go about selling your idea. For example, a real estate agent’s goal is to have clients buy and sell homes. The question then remains, how to sell your clients on the perfect home? Aside from the three forms of persuasion, ethos, pathos, and logos, it is vital for a real estate agent to know who they are selling to. By understanding the background of their clients – likes and dislikes, why they are looking for a new home – the real estate agent can then brainstorm ideas (inventio) and layout a base foundation (or map) on an approach to selling a home or finding the perfect home.

In sum, Inventio will provide the groundwork for how you want to share and persuade your idea. Inventio is the most critical level of persuasion. because it is the beginning of ideas, how to persuade your ideas, and most importantly, understanding your clients and why they should be persuaded. Inventio allows for a personal transaction of understanding between the speaker and the audience. How do you think Cicero became so famous? Once you have these fundamentals down, you can move on to the second level, Dispositio.

Dispositio: Organization of arguments

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With Dispositio, the goal to remember is announcing your subject or the purpose of your speech with the intent to persuade. Remember, Dispositio is the crafty organization or arrangement of arguments. To have a crafty arrangement is to immediately grab your clients attention. Once you have their attention, persuasion becomes much easier. One way to captivate your audience is by arranging your persuasion with a story. Take Insurance commercials for example. The goal for insurance commercials is, of course, to sell insurance. We see the story element in all the commercials. They implement all the elements to a story: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Taking the 5 W’s they create a story that hooks your attention and in the end, connect your emotions to the commercial, and ultimately persuade you to buy insurance.

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A book I recommend to help create a story through persuasion is, “Made to Stick,” written by Cheap and Dan Heath. In summation, this book offers incredible insight into the anatomy of ideas and why they stay. Arranging a captivating story for your clients is the beginning of success and a keynote in persuasion. After arranging your persuasive speech, we need to add some finesse: elocutio.

Elocutio: Mastery of stylistic elements

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The one thing to remember when it comes to elocutio is style. How do you add style to your speech? Well, if you know your audience, I recommend breaking the language barrier with colloquialism. Nothing makes a client more comfortable when the same tongue is being spoken. Mind you, colloquialism and slang are two different things. We want to finesse our speech with comfortability and professionalism. In other words, make sure when delivering your persuasion, you also implement correctness, clarity, common language, and choice of persuasion- ethos, pathos, or logos.

One of the prime examples I think of is sales associates in the retail industry. Being a previous associate, I can certainly vouch that our training was indeed persuasion. In other words, it was our job to get the customer to buy our product, and what better way to persuade customers than adding heavy adjectives (style) to our language. During your conversation with your client, take the time to understand their interests, likes, and dislikes, where they grew up, etc. Creating that personal transactional relationship, while also inserting casual language ensures the sale. Consumers want to feel welcomed, they want to place their trust in someone they know, and when you are implementing persuasion it is best to do it with simplified language. Finally, we have memoria and pronunciatio.

Memoria  and Pronunciatio: Art of Memory and Delivery

A key tip to remember: if you can commit your speech to memory, your delivery becomes more powerful. In other words more impact and an increase in persuasion. Take defense attorneys for example. “How to Get Away with Murder,” starring Viola Davis, shows a perfect example of persuasion through memory and delivery. It is not only a defense attorney’s job to defend their client, but also to persuade the jury to believe the defense is innocent.

The way to do this, of course, is to first commit the speech to memory. Afterward, it all comes down to how you will deliver your speech. Which approach will you take, i.e. the logical, emotional, or credible? The memorization aspect allows the defense attorney to deliver emphasis on certain parts of the speech, pauses for effect, and direct eye contact with the jurors.

Research your idea (inventio)+ Arrange your idea with a story (Dispositio)+ Get Personal with your Client = Memory/Persuasion (rhetoric).

Follow these five levels of rhetoric, and I guarantee your persuasion game will be secure.

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