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Opus Connect Event Recap: Real Estate August 15, 2013

Guest Blogger:

Denise Nix
Marketing and Business Development Manager
Glaser Weil


Opus Connect Event Recap: Real Influence: How to Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In

Was there a time recently when you were talking to a colleague (or a friend or family member) and he was looking at his phone? His eyes cast down, thumb flying furiously across the tiny keyboard as he nods vacantly along to what you were saying? Was there a time recently when you were the one with the phone in your hand as someone was speaking to you?

While we all, hopefully, know that this is rude behavior and counter to positive communication … the lure of the device and other modern-day distractions can be hard to resist. Dr. John Ullmen, an author, executive coach and motivational speaker who gave a lunch talk hosted by Glaser Weil last month, calls this “bad listening.”

Ullmen, who appeared as part of a lunch speaker series by Opus Connect Event’s Real Estate Chapter, said positive communication — especially active listening — can be a powerful tool in the quest to persuade and influence people. A few small changes in communication style, the UCLA Anderson School of Management faculty member said, can make a big impact. Some techniques he suggested:

  • 3:1 — That ratio represents the number of positive communication interactions that should be given to every single negative one. That’s really just a starting point, Ullmen said. Some experts, he added, suggest a 5:1 or 6:1 ratio. Just think about the fly choosing between the proverbial honey and vinegar.
  • “Yes…” — What follows after that “yes” can mean the difference between a positive or negative communication experience, Ullmen said. “Yes, and…” acknowledges what the speaker said and builds on it. “Yes, but…” sends the message that what the speaker said was wrong, and what is about to be said is right.
  • The Power Thank You — “Notice when something good happened and be in a position to point it out and articulate it,” Ullmen said. There are three ways to make a “thank you” powerful: 1.) Be specific about why you are thanking the person; 2.) Acknowledge the effort it took to do that specific task and 3.) Note the impact the deed had on you.

Learn more about Ullmen and his work at

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