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July 31, 2017

Response-able:  Replying with More Effective Behaviors

by Jeanine Izzo


Say the word React out loud.

Now, Respond.

These were my prompts to a client who is working on being more effective and less automatic.  Even though the concept of responding vs. reacting is one within our thoughts and usually not said out loud, feeling and hearing the difference in the level of tension/ease within these words is helpful to drive the coordinating behavior.

If you didn’t say the words out loud at the start (or, even if you did), say them now.



What do you notice?

Perhaps, you agree that react sounds curt and respond sounds ever so slightly longer, yet much smoother.

When we react to a situation, it’s because we hear the urgency, we recognize it from past experience, or because one of our buttons have been pushed (you know the ones that others unknowingly or purposefully trigger)…and we didn’t take a pause to think (or breathe).

  • When someone is exasperated when an issue arises…do you exasperate them/it further?
  • Do you quickly direct action and then a few minutes later rethink your directions?  Or, gain more info that changes activities?
  • Do you automatically go on the defensive?
  • When a criticism comes your way…do you sling one back?
  • Do people hesitate/avoid bringing issues to your attention?  How do you know?
  • Does the stress of the moment cloud your ability to think clearly?

Yes answers to the above can happen occasionally or chronically.  When they do occur, you are reacting.  Think about how you behave differently when you (or when you would like to):

  • Calm a person or situation down.
  • Listen and seek more information.
  • Go on the offensive to actively resolve situations.
  • Hear the intent/driver behind the criticism.
  • Be a resource for solutions and support.
  • Are able to think clearly.

The corresponding behaviors to the above enable you to respond in a more effective way.

Forward Moving Tips:   

When a situation or person arises that has you tempted to reply with the force of a drawn arrow…

  1. Pause.
  2. Take a deep breath to calm reactionary tendencies.
  3. Evaluate the situation.
  4. Seek additional information.
  5. Respond appropriately.

Responding, does not mean slow, it means deliberate.  It means feeling and being in control of the way you think and act even when you have to act quickly.

For assistance with helping yourself or someone else respond instead of react…Contact Viage Partners today.

© Viage Partners 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Viage Partners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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