The Power of Acknowledgment Unleashed: a real life experience

Here is a wonderful story I received from a reader that I am honored to share with you, with his permission.

December 20, 2007

Dear Judith;

Last night I called my brother-in-law, Bruce Woolley, to let him know that I had been considering getting a couple of extra copies of your book: “The Power of Acknowledgement” so that I might share the book with the owner of our company as well as co-workers. I went on to explain to Bruce what my experience had been reading your book and he encouraged me to write to you directly. Bruce and his wife, Mary Lee, gave my wife and me our copy sometime this past summer. I ordered two copies from today.

I am a realtor in mid-coast, Maine. Perhaps you’ve heard of Belfast. As a realtor, I spend a great deal of time and energy attempting to “read” people in order to help meet their needs on a number of fronts. I also spend time mediating, negotiating and otherwise helping people to communicate effectively with one another in situations where individuals are often bringing considerable emotion to the table. Recently, during a transaction, I was faced with a situation that had the potential to become highly contentious. Prior to the actual closing, I met with the buyers who I was representing and discussed how best to approach what we needed from the sellers’ side. I knew that the buyers had been pleased with the condition of the house during our walk-thru a few hours before closing and I knew that they were genuinely pleased with some of the work that had been done. I asked if they would be comfortable beginning our negotiation with the sellers with a brief but sincere acknowledgment of their reaction to the condition of the property. They were happy to do so.

There is no question in my mind that the buyers’ willingness to articulate their experience with finding the house in such good condition was pivotal in how the negotiation that followed went. I would go so far as to say that it may have even saved the deal.

It was never my intention to manipulate anyone; it was simply to pave the way for the two parties to begin their discussion in a positive way. It was not particularly complicated and certainly not difficult or time consuming. The buyers commented afterward that it was a stroke of genius, but I backed them away from that notion, giving your book full credit for the idea.

While I think that in the past I have had a propensity for acknowledging people in small ways, your book has provided me with significant context for continuing this behavior and additional motivation to engage in it more frequently and more sincerely. I also won’t be as likely to hesitate as I might have been in the past. For that I am extremely grateful.

I plan to share the book with many colleagues and with the owners of the company that I work for. Thank you for your good work!

Russ Lloyd –