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Communication Etiquette

Have you ever had someone in your life that stopped communicating with you? People that do not return your calls, respond to your texts, answer your emails? People that do not respond to your smile or greeting? People that do not acknowledge your presence?

It’s ok if that person is someone that doesn’t really matter to you but what if that person is someone you are doing business with or is a family member or friend.

We currently have a tenant with an option to purchase that is lacking in communication etiquette. This family was suppose to close the deal on June 30th this year. They were unable to secure financing so the option to purchase terminated. Now, there is some unpleasant history to our scenario and it is helpful to have an idea of what that looks like so I will provide a short explanation to bring you up to speed. These tenants came to us through a partner, after a lengthy dispute (another lesson) the partner is no longer in the picture. We are confident the tenants have preconceived ideas of what we are all about because they are related to our ex-partner. Understanding that, we proceeded with caution and have made every attempt to assure this family that our intention is to help them reach their goal, which is to complete the purchase of this house.

Now there are some indications that would lead anyone to believe this negotiation will be fruitless. The main one being this family refuses to communicate verbally. Ok, well maybe given the situation one might think they want everything to be documented, we can work with that. We are completing a predefined legal agreement so discussion is taking place between lawyers as well. It seems reasonable to carry on without one on one communication. Right?!? As the closing date approaches, our lawyer asks if the sale is moving forward as they have not received anything from the buyer’s lawyer. I say, I will make a call and see if I can reach them. I leave a message and wait. A few days later after trying to reach them again we get a text saying they are intending to buy. Then we hear from our lawyer that they have made contact and are still intending to exercise their option to purchase, Great! The closing date has passed but we are ok with an extension as they are working on securing financing. Being in the industry we are aware that unforeseen delays happen. We continue to wait. Two weeks later our lawyer contacts us and tells us the tenants could not acquire financing and as a result the option to purchase is void. We send a message through the lawyers that we would be willing to enter into a new agreement if the family is interested. Our goal is to sell the property and if they are not interested in moving forward then listing it is our next step. We communicate this to the family through the lawyers and through voice messaging and texting. To shorten up a long story, mostly because this process has taken years, my ex-partner left us with a rental tenant that had an option to purchase by the end of June 2016. To their credit this family has been a great tenant, they love the home they are in, have taken great care in maintaining it and have paid their rent on time every month. It is for this reason that we wish to help them achieve their goal of owning this home. The break down or lack of use of communication etiquette will likely result in a different outcome.

The flow of communication back and forth from “A” to “B” is vital in order to have a successful outcome. If proper exchange of communication can not take place then decisions are made, sometimes out of frustration, that do not serve either party. Communication etiquette is a process used by all parties involved which allows them the ability to share ideas, thoughts, needs, desires, concerns, etc. without judgement. It allows the parties to resolve issues, to support one another or negotiate a compromise.

Following are some Communication Etiquette Tips that you may find helpful.

  • Don’t with hold information, it will leave you appearing dishonest
  • Be transparent, people are more cooperative when you are truthful
  • Don’t assume things, get clarification when you are confused
  • Be compassionate and understanding, our experiences influence our thoughts
  • Determine a goal or outcome and focus on it
  • Request time to think if needed
  • Acknowledge your emotional state and or identify the other parties emotional state, you may have heard the phrase, when emotions are high intelligence is low
  • Be patient, life sometimes gets in the way
  • All communication types are beneficial, use the appropriate styles based on the importance of the discussion
  • Respect deadlines or provide timely responses
  • Acknowledge receipt of a communication by responding in a timely manner
  • There could be a misunderstanding or miscommunication, sometimes we create our own definitions to words

If you are experiencing a breakdown in communication or the communication is not moving forward it is likely that one or more of these tips are not being followed or acknowledged.

If you would like some help improving your communication etiquette, contact us, we will respond to you.

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