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Be a Buffalo: Facing Conflict Head-On

In the vast plains of the American West, two large creatures roam: cows and buffalo. These animals may seem similar at first glance, but they have vastly different approaches to facing storms. When cows sense a storm approaching, they instinctively flee in the opposite direction, seeking safety and shelter. On the other hand, buffalo charge towards the storm, embracing the challenge head-on to reach the blue skies on the other side faster. This seemingly counterintuitive behavior holds a powerful lesson for us: face conflict head-on. Be a buffalo. 

We tend to be conflict-averse. We often skirt around problems, especially when they involve other people, in order to maintain some semblance of peace. But this avoidance can have the opposite effect, often creating more problems or allowing existing resentments to fester and grow. 

Just as the buffalo charges towards the storm, brokers should confront conflicts directly, even when they appear minor. For instance, if there’s a disagreement with an employee or colleague about the best strategy for a client’s property, addressing it early on can prevent misunderstandings from festering and potentially jeopardizing the client relationship. By initiating open and honest conversations, brokers can identify and resolve conflicts promptly, ensuring that the deal stays on track and client satisfaction remains high.

Brokers who embrace the buffalo mindset have three key advantages over brokers who make like cattle and run from conflict. 

They Build Strong Relationships

Buffalo-minded brokers create stronger relationships, not only with their clients, but with all parties involved in a transaction. By doing what they say they will do and treating all conflicts, big and small, with attention and care, these brokers build a foundation of trust and respect in all relationships. 

In the Commercial Real Estate industry, conflicts can also arise with customers, prospects, or other external parties. For example, a broker might face resistance from a potential tenant during lease negotiations. Instead of shying away from the conflict, a buffalo-minded broker would proactively engage with the tenant, seeking to understand their concerns and finding common ground for a mutually beneficial agreement. By addressing conflicts head-on, brokers demonstrate their commitment to clients and build a reputation for effective problem-solving and negotiation skills.

They Prevent Larger Conflicts

Another important aspect of being a buffalo in Commercial Real Estate is recognizing the potential consequences of unresolved conflicts. When conflicts are left unaddressed, they can escalate into significant challenges that hinder transactions or damage professional relationships. For instance, a dispute between a landlord and a tenant over maintenance issues, if ignored, can escalate into a legal battle, resulting in costly delays and reputational damage. By taking immediate action and resolving conflicts at their early stages, brokers can prevent such situations and protect their clients’ interests.

They Learn and Grow

Furthermore, adopting the buffalo mentality towards conflict empowers Commercial Real Estate brokers to adapt and grow in a dynamic industry. Each conflict provides an opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge. For example, when a broker faces challenges in navigating complex zoning regulations or financing negotiations, confronting those conflicts head-on allows them to expand their expertise and become more proficient in handling similar situations in the future. By embracing conflicts as learning experiences, brokers can elevate their professionalism and stand out in a competitive market.

In conclusion, the buffalo’s instinct to run towards the storm offers valuable insights for Commercial Real Estate brokers when it comes to facing conflicts. By addressing conflicts head-on, brokers can maintain strong client relationships, prevent issues from escalating, and foster professional growth. Whether it’s resolving disputes within the team or engaging with external parties, a buffalo-minded broker demonstrates resilience, problem-solving skills, and a commitment to achieving positive outcomes. Be a buffalo. 

Charlie Coppola 
[email protected] 



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