Tolerating Versus Appreciating

Your attitude can go a long way in determining how happy you are in your role as real estate executive assistant. And attitude is simply how you look at things.

Let’s examine the difference between an attitude of “tolerating” versus that of “appreciating.”

When you are simply tolerating something or someone, your thoughts are probably something similar to, “I don’t like it, but what can I do?” or, “I don’t enjoy this, but I’ll get through it.” So “tolerating” is something or someone you put up with because the benefits of having that thing or person in your life outweigh the drawbacks.

Take a pet for example. Your cat or dog has probably destroyed something of yours, but you tolerate it because having your pet in your life is more enjoyable than not having your pet in your life. So you put up with the scratched-up furniture or floors and you clean up the messes your pet makes.

When you really appreciate something or someone, your thoughts probably run along the lines of, “I’m really glad there’s someone else on the team who is comfortable talking to strangers and can make sales easily.” Or, “This CRM has a few flaws, but I love how I can program it to do exactly what I need.”

Most of us have a pretty good understanding of what appreciation is, but are you really expressing it? Have you told your lead agent that you admire her ability meet her monthly sales goals? Do you congratulate the other agents on your team when they turn in a new contract to you? (To really dig deep on the topic of appreciation in the workplace, go read The Five Languages of Appreciation on the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White.

Now, think carefully about this: When you interact with the individuals on your team, do you have an attitude of toleration or appreciation? If all you’re doing is tolerating your lead agent or co-workers, you’re probably pretty unhappy at work.

When you’re constantly unhappy with the people or things around you, it’s because of your thoughts about them. If you are looking for mistakes or flaws or inefficiencies, you are certain to find them. And if you think you are hiding that unhappiness, I assure you, you are not. People are picking up what you’re putting down.

The easiest way to start enjoying your work and your teammates is to find reasons to appreciate everyone and everything around you.

Yes, that one agent on your team can never submit a contract without errors. It’s a fact. But can you appreciate the fact that he’s putting homes under contract and making sales? Can you appreciate the fact that someone likes him well enough to do business with him and that it takes skills to make sales?

What about bad behavior? It’s hard to appreciate a lead agent who has a tendency to get angry and actually yell at you. Or one whose expectations of what you should be able to accomplish in a week are completely unrealistic.

I’m not saying you should tolerate bad behavior let alone appreciate it. In instances where something goes to far, think about it this way: You’d likely tolerate your pet peeing on the carpet, and then take measures to train your pet not to pee on the carpet. But if your pet bites you regularly,  there’s no way you could tolerate that no matter how much you love your pet.

This is where you have to decide if you can appreciate someone in spite of the bad behavior. If the answer is no, then it’s probably time to part ways.

So the next time you find yourself unhappy with someone or something, see if you can turn it around and find a way to appreciate that person or that thing instead of just tolerating the things you don’t like about them.

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