Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Housing News

Attitudes Are Contagious

bad apple


When something is contagious it is easily transmitted.

Anything can be contagious…. laughter, fashion, a cold, a virus or a attitude.

•    On a team a bad attitude will spread and destroy the team.

•    Bad attitudes spread faster than good attitudes.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

•    Most bad attitudes develop when there are petty jealousies.

If someone on your team develops a “bad attitude” everyone knows it. A bad attitude must be nipped in the bud, before it grows and infects the whole team.

Gossip and Back Biting

If someone on your team has a problem with you or a new requirement, they need to go to the person who has the power to change it and not go gossiping to other team members to express their dissatisfaction. The team member they confide in may not have the same problem. That person become contagious as soon as they go spread their negative opinion to other team members. Consequently those other team members  become infected.

Handling Dissent

In order for the members of a team to feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns you have to create an environment of openness and be approachable.

If you are building a team and can’t welcome critisism, or a difference of opinion, then you are probably not cut out to lead a team.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

If you as a team leader foster a attitude of “it’s my way or the highway” this will not foster an environment or confidence they can come to you. Instead they will go to other members and complain.

Recently I had a situation come up, that I needed to address. One team member was not happy with my team split. Rather than come to me, they discussed this with two other people, swearing them to secrecy. Thankfully, the other two buyer agents came to me. I made an appointment with the one who was unhappy and asked her to share why she was upset with this as nothing had not changed since she joined the team.

All my buyer agents are given the same split and have the same team fee. I don’t make deals with certain buyer agents, they are all treated equally. This is one of the mistakes I see happen in many Brokerages, the broker is so excited to recruit a top agent that they give away the store, in a manner of speaking. Although no one is suppose to know, everyone finds out. This contributes to jealousy.

In the course of the discussion, I told her that there was one thing I would not allow on the team and that was discussing any dissatisfaction with me to other team members. The other team members had no control over the situation, had no power to change anything, didn’t make the rules and didn’t pay the bills. Go to the one who has the power to change the situation and come up with a workable solution. After we sat down and talked were able to work out a solution that was the same amount of money but was handled in a different way.

Bad Apples

You can not allow one bad apple or attitude to ruin the team. Look at a championship sport teams it is usually not just the skill level of the players on the team but the intangibles of attitude that make them champions. Sport teams can have all the talent in the world, be the best individual players but if a team spirit is not fostered they will not accomplish all their goals.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Remember the LA Lakers with Kobe and Shaq?

Written By

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.



  1. Melanie Wyne

    March 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm


    So true! Its true in a real estate business. Its true in a corporate or other organizational setting and its true generally in life. Thanks for the post.

  2. Lani Rosales

    March 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Missy, fabulous thoughts- I like that as a team leader you understand the value of listening before ruling. Fantastic advice here! 🙂

  3. Erica Ramus

    March 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm


    I am impressed you worked out an agreeable split with that unhappy Buyer Agent. Good for you.

    One backbiting, gossipy person can put an entire office off kilter. It is good you nipped that in the bud.

    Oh, and swearing someone to secrecy rarely works!

  4. Missy Caulk

    March 23, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Erica, my husband says a secret is telling ONE person at a time. No they don’t work.

    Lani, that is one thing I see with agents that have a high turnover. They just don’t listen and try to work things out.

    Melanie, yes it is true in life…in many venues. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Matthew Rathbun

    March 24, 2010 at 6:59 am


    I think it is all about the Broker’s Culture and what they will allow. Our companies owner/Broker has no issue showing people the door who raise discontent or are so unproductive that they have time to sit and gossip.

    I’ve sat in many companies and hung me license in a few where the mainstay was agents who sold nothing but hung around the first part of the day just to catchup on gossip.

    Why do agents stay in environments like that?

  6. Missy

    March 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Matthew, I have no idea. Some I guess just need a social life. One of my friends when he first started in management at a pharmacy company, was given the lowest producing region in the U.S.
    He came in and found they were taking 2 hr. lunches, 1/2 days on Fridays etc.
    He got them in shape and in 9 months brought that region to number 2. The next year number one.
    He had an excellent work ethic and expected no less from the people under him.
    Needless to say he moved up in the company and became a 7 figure top executive.

  7. John Coley

    March 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    So true. Plus, I think our profession, (at least for me) is so driven by having a good, positive attitude. It sounds sort of cheesy or cliche but the longer do this the more I am convinced I have to surround myself with people that contribute in positive ways. There’s more than enough negative vibes that come from the news or whatever – why associate with that inside your own office?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Point & Purpose

What makes a top producer? Stop and think for a few minutes about who the top producers are in your market? Ok, now think...

How to

Last week, I defined a TEAM as any two or more people working together to accomplish more together than one person can accomplish alone....

How to

Real Estate TEAMS There are all kinds of teams in real estate. I don’t have to go into what is a team so I...

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.