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Rommel Anacan

Welcome to my blog on MFI! This blog allows me to have an ongoing conversation with multifamily professionals like you. My focus is on helping you and your companies succeed by helping you optimize the quality of your relationships. If you'd like more information about me, my company and the ways that I can help you, please visit my website at www.RelationshipDifference.com

Communication Tip #154: Don't Be That Guy!

Communication Tip #154: Don't Be That Guy!

Not too long ago I decided to grab some breakfast at McDonald’s. I ordered my usual “Big Breakfast” which has eggs, sausage, hash browns and an English Muffin. McDonald’s started offering a “Deluxe” version of the Big Breakfast that included pancakes--so I have learned to let them know upon ordering that I wanted the “Big Breakfast with NO pancakes.” 


Easy enough, right? Not this morning. 


After I said I’d like a “Big Breakfast with no pancakes” the person behind the counter looked at me cock-eyed and said, “What??” So, I repeated my order. To which he said (with lots of snark), “The Big Breakfast doesn’t come with pancakes...that’s the ‘Deluxe Breakfast!’” 


I simply responded back to him, “Every time I’ve ordered the Big Breakfast I’ve been asked if I wanted pancakes...which is why I ordered the way I did...I didn’t know you changed the name of the one with pancakes.” He just looked at me blankly and let me know my order would be ready soon. 


They Don’t Have an SL...it’s the SEL...Geez!!


I want you to imagine that you’ve just come back to the office after taking a test drive in a car you’re considering purchasing. A co-worker asks you how it went-to which you respond, “I really liked that Toyota Camry. It drove really well and that SL version had most of the things I really ...”


Then, your co-worker interrupts you and says something like, “Camry SL?? Don’t you mean the SEL? Camry doesn’t make an SL version. Didn’t you drive the car?” Then she rolls her eyes at you, you know, for good measure. 




How would that make you feel? 


Was it really necessary for someone to make you feel stupid for not knowing that Toyota doesn’t have a Camry in an SL version? Would that change the essential gist of your story-which was that you test drove a car you liked? 


Similarly, in the McDonald’s story-the associate knew what I wanted to order. Would it have been so difficult for him to say something like, “Great....your order will be right up.” Or, if he really felt the need to “educate” me on McDonald’s nomenclature, he could have said something like, “The Big Breakfast with pancakes is now called the Deluxe Breakfast...so you don’t have to let us know anymore when you order.” 


In Your Office


The modern office is full of opportunities to fall into this trap. If a resident comes in and asks for an “NTV” (notice to vacate) form do you correct him and say, “Actually, Bill, it’s called an ITV (intent to vacate) form.” In this scenario you know that Bill wants a form to let you know that he’s moving out--why not just give Bill the form without the correction? 


Don’t Get Stuck 


One of the most valuable communication tips I’ve learned (and am still learning) in my life is to not get stuck on the words at times and focus on what someone is really trying to say. There are times when you’ll notice that some of the details of something someone is trying to tell you may be wrong- now, if it doesn’t truly matter, why focus on it, or bring attention to it? 


If you find yourself wanting to say, “Actually SPAM was first made in 1937 and not in 1939...” and you’re not competing in some type of trivia contest where the exact answer is needed, stop yourself and ask, “Do I really need to correct him, here?” 


By stopping yourself, you may just prevent yourself from being that guy ... and that is usually a good thing. 



Photo Credits: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Guilty. I have been that guy...er, girl. You're so right. It's not necessary to correct them. Thanks for the reminder.

  Rental Housing Network
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks for reading! I've been guilty too, on far too many occasions!

  Rommel Anacan
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Guilty too. Thanks for the reminder!
PS- can I have your pancakes? ;-)

  Rose M
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

You can absolutely have the pancakes! (= Thanks for reading and commenting.

  Rommel Anacan
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Oh No...I am always that GUY!! Tail between my legs as I realize how that seems to others.

  Crystal Gluszek
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hi Crystal-it's amazing how things that we think are innocuous actually comes across to others, isn't it? I suppose that's why communication can feel so difficult at times. I've been that guy too, far too many times than I'd like to admit….(= Thanks for reading and sharing! I appreciate it!

  Rommel Anacan
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I, unfortunately am that guy more often than I'd like to admit. Thanks for the reminder to stop being a jerk. Ironically, I finished reading the article and then jumped to your bio at the bottom where I pronounced your name one way in my head and then was immediately corrected. It was just a coincidence I know, but still made me smile.

  Mike M
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Mike-thank you for reading and for sharing! One of the hardest parts of communicating and connecting is that often times the things that we say that just seem like the natural and obvious thing to say in a situation isn't always the right thing to say, as seen from the eyes of the other person.

And, in regards to my name, I have to give a shout out to Brent Williams for encouraging me to put the phonetic pronunciation of my name in my bio, since it's pronounced differently than most people would naturally pronounce it.

  Rommel Anacan

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