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Whatever fears you feel comfortable sharing, do so now. This likely will make others feel comfortable in voicing their concerns and could prompt even the most-introverted employees to partake in the discussion.
It’s important, however, to ensure that no team members feel obligated to talk about their own fears. They could be dealing with additional fears that extend beyond the industry’s obstacles. For example, someone could be falling behind on mortgage payments or coping with a spouse’s layoff. In other words, don’t force the issue.
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Once everyone who wishes to discuss their fears has done so, let your team know that if anyone wants to speak with you privately, you will be glad to keep the meeting private. Remind team members that they can reach you after hours on your cell phone or via e-mail.
C: Communicate real information
After your team has discussed their fears, it’s time to step in and speak out. Share good news, predictions and areas of concern -- truthfully. Accurate information is an antidote to fear, even if the information is not all positive.
This information could include news about productivity or a delay in securing Federal Housing Administration approval. If you have truly bad news -- such as impending layoffs or changes to salaries -- you’ll have to use your best judgment to decide whether this is the best time to share. But keeping your team up-to-date with real information can increase your credibility.
Naturally, you’ll want to end the meeting with the most-positive news you can report honestly. You want your team members to leave the meeting feeling inspired; seek encouraging, truthful information to share. Examples may include that refinance applications are up for the office or even only for the month.
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When team members become fearful, morale is almost certain to sink, which affects everyone on your team. But by acknowledging the universal fears that we’re all experiencing and bringing them forward, we can at least manage fear within our office. By communicating real information to our valued employees, we again reinforce to our team that we are credible, honest and working as hard as we can to keep everyone aware of critical company news.
By following the ABCs of managing fear, you and your team likely will begin feeling as though your fears are more manageable. Together, you can move toward defusing the fears and empowering one another to work toward a brighter and less fearful future.
Brenda Rhodes is CEO of InTouch Corp., a high-touch customer-relationship-management and mortgage-review-appointment-setting-service company serving the needs of individual mortgage brokers and of large mortgage companies. InTouch provides all clients with access to recorded mortgage-review-appointment-setting calls. As an industry-turnaround expert,
Rhodes welcomes questions at (408) 458-4300 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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