Practice Your Response, not Your Reaction Time

Posted on: July 10th, 2019 by Jen Mueller

Emotions run high in sports. Whether it’s the thrill of victory or the crushing blow of defeat emotion drives reactions from fans, coaches and players. It’s natural. It’s also another reason “fan” is short for fanatic.

It’s one thing to react to sports outcomes but if it carries over into the workplace it will be one of the things that detracts from being seen as a leader.

Media today loves a good “hot take.” There are entire shows developed around guests/hosts who stir the pot and say the most immediate emotional thing that comes to mind.

Leaders don’t give hot takes.

Great leaders recognize formulating a thoughtful response is more effective in getting a point across, creating buy-in or providing feedback.

Great leaders see the bigger picture. They understand how an emotionally charged rant can burn bridges, damage relationships and hurt their effectiveness.

Do you?

If you’re more prone to react to a situation keep these things in mind.

  1. You’re not part of a gameshow. There are no points for being the first one to speak.
  2. Silence is golden. The movie theaters have it right. Give yourself 8-10 seconds (about two deep breaths) to collect your thoughts and reset your nervous system.
  3. Choose your words carefully. Formulating a response doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion. Find a word that conveys your emotion with a little more discernment. For example, instead of saying, “That sucked!” You could say, “The presentation fell flat, and the audience seemed exhausted after sitting there all day for the conference.”

Learning to respond instead of react to situations that come up throughout the day will help set you apart as a leader, regardless of your current title. If you’d like more leadership development register for the upcoming Learn from a Leader online series. Each month I’ll feature a new leader, with a different perspective and actionable items for you to use wherever you are in your career. Sign up now and it’s just $197 for LIFETIME ACCESS!

Are you kidding me?!

You get access to diverse leaders. The sessions are recorded so you can download them for your files. (It also means you don’t have to attend the live sessions to benefit.) You get to ask the leaders questions and I’ll provide a Top 5 takeaway sheet for each monthly guest.

This is a no brainer. Register here for Seahawks Linebacker K.J. Wright on July 24 from 8-9:15am PT. You’ll receive an email every month with registration links to upcoming sessions.