By Bobbie Jones
What happens when our emotions and impulses take control over us? We either react or respond.
A reaction is typically survival-oriented and on some level can be a defense mechanism. A reaction is instant, while a response usually comes more slowly. A response weighs the long-term effects and stays in line with your core values. The key difference between reaction and response is awareness.
As humans, we are faced with situations in our careers and personal lives that can raise our emotions. We are faced with the choice to react or respond.
A reaction will usually result in the feeling that the situation could have been handled differently. Those feelings can be mitigated with a deep breath and a choice not to react, but rather take the time to respond.
A response is not necessarily slow, rather a response is thoughtful.
Bobbie shared some tips to respond rather than react, that have helped her throughout her career and personal life, including:
Think about the big picture
Ask yourself—how does this specific situation fit into your overall goals and objectives?
Put the situation in context
Consider the context. What exactly is happening and how will the next step you take best serve you, the organization, and anyone else involved.
Blend logic with emotion
The best decisions are both informed by facts and infused with emotions. Remember, the goal is not to deny your emotions, but to find the balance.
Ask yourself the key reaction question
Am I reacting? This question can ground you and provide a mental break to perhaps choose differently.
Recognize your choices
Often reaction is a result of not knowing or think that other options are available. Realizing there are choices will allow you to consider the choices and the consequences that come with the choices prior to moving forward.
Create that 20/20 vision
We all heard the phrase: “hindsight is 20/20.” Your goal in the moment is to mentally move yourself forward in your future and look back with the imagined 20/20 vision to assist in choosing a response.
Thanks, Bobbie, for the tips! Bobbie is the owner of Trailasana Yoga Studio and the Human Resources Manager for Webco Industries, Inc.
This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) October 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.