4i Newsletter Masthead 348

The Absence of Certainty.

fouri 348 Circle Influence

I had a chat with Tony, my 92 year old Stepfather last week and when I asked him how he was doing he replied: “I’m bored of all this now. It’s the lack of an end date that’s so frustrating.”

My first thought was his response could have come straight from the twitter account, @soverybritish but later on realised there was a valuable lesson to be learned as well.

Stephen Covey taught me many things and one of the most valuable was his two circle model, The Circles of Concern and Influence. He suggested that if we choose to expand our circle of influence it would lead to a reduction in the amount of concerns. He illustrated this by drawing two circles, one inside the other, the outer containing everything that was concerning us and the smaller inner circle the things we can influence. Adding additional things we can influence and expanding those we’re already working on will reduce the concerns or at least some of them.

Right now, for many people, the number of concerns and their scale and perceived severity is greater than ever. I believe this is due to a number of things:

  1. There are some real issues that we should be concerned about
  2. These are being amplified by the media and also our own networks of chatter
  3. For many, there’s an absence of leadership, in particular decisiveness and trust
  4. The information has been inaccurate, flawed, inconsistent, “fake” – call it what you will
  5. There’s no sense of when things will be “normal” again or rather, the hope of many for a “next normal” by a set date, Christmas for example, has been dashed.

If Stephen were alive I’m sure he’d prescribe, “Focus on the things you can influence.” Investing in speculation when there’s no certainty is energy sapping and often increases the concerns. Instead, ask yourself, what can we do for certain or with a high likelihood of probability?

For Property Academy we have no idea when we will be able to have physical events and meetings again. We can speculate that it might be next spring, summer, autumn or not until 2022. It’s pointless. What we can do instead is work with the certainties and near certainties.

We can hold virtual meetings – so how can we make them work better?
We can have live webinars – so what possibilities does that open up now we can secure international speakers, (such as Seth Godin for the EA Masters and also exclusively for our members)?
We can have more frequent contact with our members via zoom as we save on the hours of travel we used to have to factor into our interactions – so let’s set up more regular 1on1’s.
We can use the time dividend to carry out more research – so what areas should we investigate that will be most useful?

I’m convinced that positive action reduces uncertainty. It doesn’t eliminate it, but reduces it down to levels that most can manage. Highly effective leaders will cause their followers to focus on the things they can influence and to invest their energy positively whilst the rest bemoan all that’s going on, find fault with everything and everybody and just add to the general malaise.

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