November 29, 2009

The proper establishment and maintenance of reasonable boundaries is an occupational hazard for many Realtors. Although you aren’t likely to see CAL-OSHA jumping in to legislate anytime soon. The blurring of the lines between a client’s and a professional’s needs,  goes part and parcel with important work that involves helping people navigate through big transitions in their lives.

Unfortunately, early on, most Realtors gravitate towards one end of the spectrum of possible choice or the other – which means, that they often get stuck in a lopsided position in the end, with almost no choice available that will allow them to adjust and adapt appropriately to different situations, as they arise in the course of a normal day’s work.

Some Realtors forget or don’t bother to establish strong enough boundaries in the beginning. Their personal containers are so porous, they end up taking on most of the heavy duty trials and tribulations their clients are experiencing. It is not unusual to hear stories about them waking up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because they have become de facto dopplegangers, sympathetic twins, destined to live out their client’s worries.

Other Realtors,  as soon as they feel the initial pangs of a tough situation approaching. one that may demand a  heightened degree of empathy and require them to walk some distance in another  person’s shoes,  react with a swift preemptive, defensive strike, shutting down and hunkering down into their own human bunker mentality, deciding that it is probably safest to treat people like they are all widgets driven off the assembly line of life.

To be a good Realtor, you have to be able to consciously expand and contract the apertures on the exoskeleton that surrounds you like  a net that both connects you to the world and protects you from it at the same time. If the openings in your net are too small – almost nothing gets in or through. It is hard to help someone when you are closed off to the touch of a reasonable feedback loop. For others, the spaces in their nets are huge and  gaping  24/7 –  practically big enough to drive a Mac Truck through on a moment’s notice. Its impossible to be a great helpmate to a someone when you are always in danger of a head-on collision.

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