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by Leonard Steinberg

The past 2 years has triggered heightened rage even in places less prone to this: airports and airplanes, retail stores, restaurants, and yes, even in the brokerage world. Rage is defined as feeling or expressing violent, uncontrollable anger. It is also a historic symptom of pandemics: Spanish flu survivors reported sleep disturbances, depression, mental distraction, dizziness, and difficulties coping at work. Sound familiar?

We all have to pay a big price for rage: usually the damage costs, added security, insurance payouts, etc. are all passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices to pay for all of this. Stores that close stop producing sales tax revenues leaving us to pay higher taxes to compensate for these losses. Lost jobs cost more in government payouts. Hopefully the current rage subsides over time. As much as I think there is never a good excuse for this bad behavior, there is always a reason: many people feel marginalized, frustrated, controlled, bullied, angry at the world, etc. While yes, we did lose some of our freedoms during this sometimes painful 2 years, for the most part our version of loss of freedom pales when compared to REAL loss of freedoms that others around the globe experience all the time. Most of us are still the fortunate ones.

Lecturing, belittling, insulting, demanding, commanding never work. Persuasion requires love for your fellow human being. It is the greatest lesson to all of us who negotiate every day. Without love/respect/empathy for your colleagues, clients, buyers, sellers, landlords, developers, etc it would be impossible to navigate the often complex and emotional negotiations we encounter. The one thing we all know destroys (or at best diminishes) chances for successful persuasion is angering the ‘other’ to the point where they stop listening.

We can always persuade others of our point of view (or hard )facts only when they keep listening.