Divorce & Real Estate News from Ilumni Institute

Keep your bias in check...

Aug 15, 2020 4:52:00 PM / by Laurel Starks

We all have biases. In divorce listings, and in daily life. When we are hired to be a neutral professional, we must be purposeful about acknowledging our biases and recognize when we are triggered by them. We represent flawed individuals from all walks of life, yet we must set aside our personal feelings in order to perform the task we've been hired to do.

Bald EagleThe only way to earn trust between two people who vehemently oppose one another is to consistently prove our neutrality. The smallest hint in favor of one side, or a flinch of antagonism against another will completely ruin our clients' perception of our neutrality.

Examples of biases can be growing up with an alcoholic father, and then representing an alcoholic client; divorcing a narcissist, and your client is one. They could be less visible and show up as behavior - perhaps your mother was a perpetual victim and you resented that. You then have a victim client who "rubs you the wrong way" and it turns out, subconsciously, they remind you of your mother.

How we react to them is what we have control over. Biases do not necessarily express themselves overtly. We may have subtle expressions of our biases. This is why you must be attuned to them. Acknowledge what they are, so that every day you can say to yourself "how can I not express this today? How can I show up with a clean slate and an open mind?"

Be aware of your physical reaction. What is your method for checking in with yourself to see if your biases are clouding your ability to be neutral?

And know that this is a lifelong journey to acknowledge and modify our reaction. Remember my incessant quest to "be right" all the time? Maybe we can have coffee and I'll explain where that comes from. But suffice it to say, when I have a client who is constantly questioning my suggestions, I have to check myself. We are all a work in progress.

Topics: divorce listing pro tip

Laurel Starks

Written by Laurel Starks