What We’ve Got Here is Failure to Communicate

Communication Barriers

That famous line from the 1967 film, Cool Hand Luke rings ever so true in today’s digital media frenzy. We’ve invested in technology to make our lives easier and to provide us with more leisure time, but we live more hectic lives than ever. We long to stay socially connected, but we hide behind technology that enables us to do so in isolation, therefore defeating its intended purpose. A lack of comfort with traditional interpersonal communication is a growing concern that’s no longer limited to just Millennials and can hamper the mortgage approval process.

Conversation is Coin of the Realm in business, politics, education and just about every modern-day endeavor.

You may be wondering how it is that digital communication in high risk situations is a bad thing? As simple as communication seems, much of what we try to communicate to others in digital format—and what others try to communicate to us—gets misunderstood, which can cause conflict and frustration. Feeling rushed and stressed, people often do not take the time to consider the nuances of their writing. These days, conclusions are drawn on frighteningly little information and conflicts can explode over the assumed tone of an e-mail.

    • When someone writes text in all capital letters, does it mean they’re yelling?
    • Are two worded responses a signal that the person doesn’t want to engage?
    • Does a smiley face or a thumbs-up really mean they’ve bought in and are aligned?

 

It’s the way we feel, more than the way we think, that motivates our communication medium. If we let business communication be dominated by e-mails, texts, and instant messaging, – sans body language, tone and inflection – the potential for misinterpretation grows exponentially.  We should consider investing our time and energy to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings by engaging verbally as often as possible to find clarity.

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen.  Just listen.

There are some common barriers that prevent effective communication in mortgage. With the use of over-complicated and unfamiliar jargon, borrowers often hear what they expect to hear rather than what is actually being said and quickly jump to incorrect conclusions. When unsure what is being asked, don’t feel embarrassed… Just pick up the phone and ask for clarification.

Have the expectation that conflicts will arise throughout the mortgage process. Knowing this, you’ll be able to have the right mindset to deal with the conflict—rather than trying to avoid it. To understand what the real problem is, connect and remain motivated until the conflict is resolved.

Finding clarity in conversation is rewarding, because it is replete with immediate feedback and filled with unmistakable nuances, leaving little chance of misinterpretation. Generally speaking, in mortgage or in life, most people want to know three things before they are willing to enter into a conversation:

1.  Is what you want to talk about going to be painful?
2.  How long is it going to take?
3.  When you are done talking, what do you want from me?

It’s funny that we are compelled to draft a text or an email requesting a teleconference–rather than just picking up the phone. But, if that’s what its going to take to get someone to pick up the phone, be sure to include the responses to all three questions above in your request. Knowing the nature of your call, the person can relax and listen to you as you share the requested info. Otherwise, without knowing if the call will be long and painful, they may try to give an excuse for why they can’t talk at the moment and resolution will be postponed for another day.

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