As a leader, as a human, it's natural and instinctive to REACT to a situation -- allowing our EMOTIONS to drive our immediate behavior. Many times, our initial/immediate reaction is something we regret later or is something we realize could have been handled much better.
Great leaders are conscious of their reaction and response to situations. The best leaders substitute reaction with a conscious RESPONSE to a given situation.
What about you? Are you a reactor or a responder?
Consider the following technique when you're confronted with a situation that incites emotion (surprise, anger, frustration, disappointment, etc.) and draws you into quickly responding:
- STOP, pause and breath.
- Collect your thoughts for a couple of seconds.
- Ask yourself: "What is the BEST way to respond?" or "What is the 'high road' response required here?"
- Consider whether the best response at this point in time is NO response. Sometimes the best response IS no response.
- Communicate your response - calmly, clearly and with confidence. Give context to your response given the situational circumstances.
- Afterwards, reflect back on how you handled the situation, and look for learning points.
Responding vs. reacting is movement UP the emotional intelligence scale. Develop your awareness of how you respond and learn to respond in a manner reflective of a role model leader.
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
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