What’s Going On?

Written by Walter Boomsma, instructor. See his blog.

One of the less than complimentary descriptions occasionally used of individuals is “clueless.” There are plenty of funny t-shirts and signs with variations of it. I’m not sure if the opposite of clueless is clue-full, but clues are about hints, signs or evidence according to my thesaurus.  If you’ve ever been totally surprised by an event or outcome you were perhaps “clueless.” You didn’t see it coming.

Actually, the opposite of clueless is probably “situational awareness,” meaning how conscious one is of his or her surroundings. The National Association of Realtors has proclaimed September as REALTOR® Safety Month and situational awareness is a major factor in safety. One of the techniques offered is the “Ten Second Rule.” The principle is that whenever you are entering a new environment, you consciously take ten seconds to scan and look for things like:

  • Other people in the area
  • Things that look out of place
  • Hidden dangers or obstacles
  • Escape routes and hiding places.

The goal here is not fear or paranoia. You will find your self-confidence increases as you develop the skill. And while Safety Month tends to focus on showings, open-houses, and appointments (personal safety), the skill of situational awareness can be applied to different areas such as negotiation and managing transactions. Take ten seconds—more would be good—right now and observe your environment. You might see things you haven’t noticed before. And you’ll know what’s going on!

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