A Secret for Self Control

Often, when I am presenting a workshop or keynote presentation or when I am working with individual coaching clients, a distinction comes up that immediately and more effectively helps everyone better manage their workload, stress level, and building healthier relationships. This distinction is respond vs. react.

When we react, we act impulsively; responding to a stimulus, often without thinking. However, when we respond, we pause, reflect, think about possible consequences to our actions, and choose a more favorable reply or action.

For example, Catherine’s daughter spilled her milk by accident. Catherine’s initial reaction was to yell and scream at her but when she paused she kept things in perspective and provided her daughter with some towels to clean up the mess without damaging words, threats, or accusations. Her daughter apologized, cleaned up the mess the best she could, and promised to be more careful the next time. In past situations, when Catherine yelled and screamed, her daughter cried, the situation escalated and Catherine said many things she later regretted. Catherine ended up sending her daughter to her room while Catherine cleaned up the spilt milk on her own.

In another situation, Bill (who was already overloaded with projects at work) was given yet another project with a tight deadline. Although he normally reacted by taking on the project and walking away angry and frustrated and then working round the clock to get things done, instead he chose to respond and ask more questions about the project and where it fit in with everything else he was already doing. His boss helped him prioritize this new project with everything else already on his plate. He gave some of the more menial tasks to someone else so that he could concentrate on the higher level skills needed to get the project moving. They negotiated the timeline and made it more reasonable.

Reacting to a situation vs. responding…you choose what works for you! Practice responding to experience this higher level of self control.

About The PriorityPro
Natalie Gahrmann, an international expert, empowers professional women to ignite their passion, demonstrate personal leadership and exude greater confidence. Her background in business acumen and leadership development is instinctively applied through 1-1 coaching, workshops and keynote presentations. She can help you gain clarity, focus and direction so that you accomplish more of what's important to YOU!

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