The top ten UK Estate Agent was hosting their annual conference to discuss that years go to market strategy. Part of the agenda was discussing online challengers who were offering sellers the opportunity to sell their property at dramatically reduced fees.

7 BehavioursThe discussion critiqued the online challengers approach of making lots of promises, taking up front fees, posting the property on their website and then leaving it to the customer! The high street customer service approach was not to throw a ‘benefits grenade’ at customers but to understand the specific wants of each customer and adapt the benefits of their service accordingly.

The need to understand others and adapt yourself is applicable in so many ways.

Communication preferences is another great example of the advantage of understanding and adapting. Some people I know reply what seems like instantly on email whilst others completely ignore their emails. Some people love to speak on the telephone at every opportunity and rarely commit anything in writing. Others love to message through their preferred social media platform. In relationships it’s really important to understand other people’s communication preferences and adapt to them.

Understanding and adapting is critical when working cross culturally whether that be in a multi-cultural national context or international setting. Cultural differences can be very significant. For example some cultures like to invest a lot in getting to know a prospective business partner before getting down to business others like to do business and will only then want to connect personally. Obviously knowing the difference is very important when it comes to succeeding in international business.

Then there is what I call ‘business chemistry’ which is all about understanding and adapting to the different way that people’s personalities and temperaments are wired. When presenting in a business meeting some people like to know the solution and then the workings, others want to know the workings and then the solution. Some people you build immediate and effective rapport with and others seem to hold you at a slight distance. Some people welcome the last minute opportunity to meet and others like to plan well in advance.

Another way this habit is described is emotional intelligence about personal and social awareness and leadership. People can be educational and technically brilliant however unless they have a comparative emotional intelligence their intellectual intelligence can sabotage their ability and future.

The difference between good and great relationship builders is the ability to be attentive to other people and be responsive to regulating yourself to achieve the best possible outcomes. When it comes to relationships one size does not fit all. The sixth behaviour of highly effective relationship builders is to understand others and adapt yourself.