React...or Respond?
By Jerry D. Posner

 

This is an extremely useful question to ask yourself..."What's the difference?"

RESPOND: Think before you speak. Consider the probable and possible consequences of your actions. Choose to communicate and behave as the experienced adult that you are. Like Dr. Covey wrote in his popular book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, "begin with the end in mind."

REACT: Instant. No thinking. No consideration of consequences. No conscious choice. Often emotionally charged. Could sound like an angry child or temperamental adolescent! Can make mucho trouble!

We can "train the brain" to RESPOND rather that REACT to situations, circumstances and people by using the "magic repetition factor!"  That's right! Every day, remind yourself to think before you speak. Make "response-ability" your new habit. 

So, before you lose your cool, count to ten, breathe, and consider the negative impact of the tantrum ... or the positive impact of successfully resolving the conflict. Then you can make a better decision of how you want to act and what you want to say -- to a customer, coworker, friend, spouse ... anyone! Learn to base your choices on the outcomes you most desire, and you'll become a master of "response-ability" before you know it!

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