Dear Zuess,

How can I make the most of holiday parties?  I’d like to have some good opportunities lined up for the New Year!


Hi Tracey,

Great question and good timing.  The holiday social season is just getting going and if you wear the right mindset, those parties can be a gold mine of opportunity.

Wear the right mindset?  Yes – we can choose our mindset the same way we choose our outfit for the event.

Your mindset is your attitude or way of thinking.

Imagine you arrive at a cocktail party wherecocktail party you only know a few people.  You are feeling shy and a bit reluctant, but you want the opportunity to meet new folks.  You saunter over to someone you know and the small talk begins.  You are subsequently introduced to three other people in the conversation circle.  The next hour could be awkward, difficult and exhausting (with no new connections made) or it could be interesting, fun and even exhilarating (with several new connections).   Since we would prefer the second outcome, let’s take a look at what makes the difference:

If you are wearing a mindset of caution, insecurity, or judgement, the first outcome is likely.

If you are wearing a mindset of curious, interested, and open to learning, the second outcome is likely.

A closed or judgmental mindset causes us to behave in ways that are unappealing.  We may be too shy to say much of anything; we may be insecure and spend the time trying to prove to the others how much we know about real estate.  We may get tangled up in our own internal dialogue and fail to listen to the others.  We may drink too much and behave foolishly.

A curious, interested, and open mindset on the other hand, gives us the capacity to speak to others and ask authentic questions, listen to and hear their answers, notice their feelings, and enjoy their humour.  When we spend time with people in this mindset, it is often contagious and can lead to wonderful conversations.

Wonderful conversations have a much better chance of earning you a connection than telling people how much you know about real estate.

When you are aware of your mindset and the impact it has on others, you then have the freedom to choose which mindset you would prefer to be in.  Choose the right mindset, layer it with some solid communication skills and you’ve get the art of deliberate conversation down pat.

Here’s a little exercise to help you get ready for the festive season.  When you speak with someone, have the intention to make them feel “comfortable”.  Do this several times per day and reflect on what’s different.


Columnist, The Nature of Real Estate

Dear Zuess is a column dedicated to offering advice to real estate agents, who want to get the most out of their day. Do you have any real estate binds you’ve been in lately? Drop Zuess a line at