Respond or React?

“When you respond to life, that’s positive; when you react to life, that’s negative” ~ Zig Ziglar



Welcome to Mid-week Motivation. Today we’re going to talk about reaction verses response and what you get from each of those things. Think about went somebody brings you information that maybe is upsetting, maybe it’s something you don’t want to hear, maybe there’s been a mistake made, maybe you’ve had a customer that has a bad experience or you have feedback that isn’t positive – anything like that. What is your natural tendency? Do you react or do you respond?

If you react, it would sound something like this: Somebody says we just got a customer complain because this or that wasn’t done properly or there is a defect or something. If you react, you’re going to say, “well, what in the blank happened”, “what’s wrong with you”, “who was responsible”, you’re going to come unglued – the world is ending. Hearing the news, you get upset you yell, you scream, you might say things that you regret later.

A response would be more calculated and calm. It’s something like, “okay so tell me what happened”, “what’s being done to fix it”. A response is something that is more open, more calming. It doesn’t mean you’re not upset, it just means that you keep yourself in control.

What happens when you react or fly off the handle? Nothing good typically. You might be shooting the messenger and you’re probably going to be putting up defense’s so that people don’t want to bring you bad news therefore you might not find out stuff you need to know. Those are the long-term effects that’s going to have. You lose trust, you lose confidence, people are then afraid and intimidated and they don’t want to engage with you.

On the other hand, when you respond and make it productive, you’re not looking to place blame, you’re looking to fix or find the cause, find a solution. if its feedback then you’re taking it in and saying, “okay…” again nobody really likes feedback, criticism it’s necessary and we like it to point because we can then be better but it never feels good when you receive it if it’s not what you want.

Take a deep breath, count to ten. If ten is too many count to five 5. Iif you feel yourself in a place where you’re going to react and say things and yell and scream, take a few minutes for yourself. Excuse yourself from the conversation or the situation. Take a walk, shut your door, go in the restroom – whatever you need to do and breathe. Let out the steam, just don’t let it affect your relationship with others. You want to create an environment where people can be open and honest, you want to create an environment where people can come to you and you’ll work on the problem together.

Response verses reaction, our natural tendency is to react. I do this, we all do it but if you’re conscious of it you can catch yourself It takes practice, that’s not going to change overnight, but you can do it. Take a deep breath, if you need to remove yourself from the situation, do that, then come back and visit it and look for the solution keep the lines of communication open it doesn’t do you any good to get all riled up either right? It sets you off course a little bit, sometimes for a long while. Think about it, Find a solution. Find the root cause of the issue so you can stop it from happening. Reactions cause us to do a band-aid approach fix and responses help us get to the root cause.

My challenge to you is to focus on responding versus reacting. If you react, don’t be too hard on yourself apologize, let people know you’re human but learn from it and do it different next time.

©2014 Shari Yantes. All rights reserved.