A commentary by Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

When something good or bad happens to us, our self-talk makes all the difference. That real estate transaction is about to tank. For the first few hours, you launch into fight-or-flight mode. The situation may seem impossible, but you are made of pure potential. You are limitless. You are possible.

Be proactive instead of reactive. You are the captain of your ship. You are the one in control. Take a deep breath and consider all the ways you could mitigate the potential damages. Keeping the parties informed helps to establish you as the person in charge.

Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame, list the people you can contact and then arrange meetings or conference calls with all the applicable parties for the following day so you have the opportunity to sleep on it. Ask everyone to bring solutions to the table.

Asking yourself effective questions right before sleep can help to bring about clarity in the morning. Effective questions are open-ended and allow your sub-conscious mind to work on the problem while you sleep. For example, “How can I help to reach a satisfactory resolution for all parties?”

We take this approach to conflict-resolution at EXIT Realty Corp. International. We bring the parties together on a conference call (or in person, if feasible).  A resolution is much more likely when someone is in control who believes that a positive, synergistic outcome is not only possible, but likely.

When faced with the seemingly impossible, any opportunity you can take to increase the space between stimulus and response as described by Frankl, increases the possibility of a positive outcome. The impossible becomes, I’m possible.