Using Language To Frame Situations

Using Language To Frame Situations

The way we speak about situations influences how we perceive those situations. This is evident not just in real estate and economics but in linguistic

The way we speak about situations influences how we perceive those situations. This is evident not just in real estate and economics but in linguistic trends across time and all over the world. As the field of psychology develops, it is becoming more and more apparent that we can shape our social groups, our biases, and our emotional reactions through the way we speak.

This is good news for those who work in such an interactive medium as real estate, where integral conversations are part of the daily workload and there is constant opportunity to make connections and develop your communicative style in ways that benefit you, those you work with, and those you work for.

Language can be used as a persuasive tool as well as a tool for framing situations before persuasion even enters into the equation. Instead of simply looking at language as a negotiation tactic, try viewing it as a preliminary effort to ensure that negotiations and all future interactions run as smoothly as possible and that everyone reaches the nearest possible understanding.

In addition to being proactive, language can also be a tool through which you learn more about the people you are dealing with. By paying attention to the way they frame situations linguistically, you can gain insight into their values and predispositions, and use that understanding when you negotiate or interact with them.

Inclusive language

Inclusive language can be useful no matter what side of the table you find yourself on. It is important that all parties involved feel a sense of their own worth and agency in the situation, and get the impression that, despite conflicting needs or desires, ultimately everyone is working toward what will hopefully become a common goal.

Settling on a common goal, implicitly or explicitly, can be accomplished in part by using inclusive language. By employing terms like “we” or “us” instead of “you,” “me,” “I,” or “them,” you create the impression that negotiation is the collective endeavor of a group rather than two sides, each trying to gut the other.

Synonyms and connotation

Words have definite meanings that can be found in a dictionary, but each one has a different meaning to each person, a different connotation. You have probably made use of this fact yourself, perhaps by referring to a property or building not as a “house” but as a “home,” calling to mind cozy memories of the past and exciting dreams for the future.

Pay attention to the words that clients and colleagues use. Are they trying to frame things in a certain way, or perhaps giving unconscious evidence of the way they themselves view the situation? How personal are the words they choose to use? Some may opt for a more objective linguistic stance, while others may pepper their speech with adjectives and emotive words that have more power to sway those around them.

Whatever the values of the people you are working with, you can learn about them and communicate yours not simply through the concepts you convey through your speech, but the very words you say.