Today I want to talk to you about a really powerful lesson that I learned from Matt Townsend. You may have heard of Matt Townsend, but in case you haven’t, he is the author of “Starved Stuff: Feeding the 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships,” as well as the person who helps train Keller Williams agents. He has even worked with fellow author Steven Covey, who penned “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
As a Realtor, I sell houses while also acting as a psychologist, therapist, or counselor. We have to be trained and equipped with how to work with people, and the model I’m about to share with you helps with this. No matter who you are, you interact with people; we all have some type of relationship, whether it be a spouse, partner, child, or co-worker.
This model, although powerful, is also very simple. When somebody gives off a vital sign with heightened emotions of anger, sadness, or embarrassment, you can detect it. After you detect these emotions, there are two things you can do: run from it or attack it and smother it.
Matt says that the first thing you should do is mention that they seem embarrassed, or angry, and then let them speak. You acknowledge it and then unpack and explore it—seek to understand what’s going on.
Let them tell you their story and during that time don’t object or get argumentative. Also, don’t deny it. Instead, find out why that emotion exists and then paraphrase it back to them.
All things lead to what Townsend calls “Starved Stuff,” which are the issues that are the real issues. He says that it usually comes down to an issue of safety, trust, respect, validation, encouragement, or dedication. This is where we want to focus because this is where the issue is.
As you’re talking through this, if the emotions do get heightened again, you start back over. Once you get past the “Starved Stuff,” you can move on to lifting the conversation. This is where you apologize, accept, affirm, acknowledge, act, or adapt and retell the story. You will then get to change the problem and the relationship gets pulled back together and people begin to feel understood again.
In real estate, one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is that people want to be understood. Whether a person is upset or argumentative, they want someone to dig down and genuinely listen.
I think what I love about this model is that it gives you a good template for all of your relationships, whether they’re personal or professional. You will be able to feel those heightened emotions, get the vital signs that someone is angry, embarrassed, hurt, etc., and then explore them so that the person is able to open up and you can understand why they feel this way. Then, you can lift the conversation and lift them up.
If you want to learn more about this and the “Starved Stuff,” you should definitely read Townsend’s book “Starved Stuff: Feeding the 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships.” If you have any questions for me, please feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to speaking with you soon.