Okay, you get an unexpected text. You swipe to see the message. It isn't good. Your client wants out of their contract. You have a rush of adrenaline and cortisol. Your mind races. You want to strangle them. You have put in so much work and now this. Who do they think they are? Don't they value all that you have done? What is this about? How will you make your next loan payment?
So you fire a text back.
Chaos ensues. Things do not get better.
You reacted. It wasn't positive. Nothing got better.
You could have responded -- been responsive.
To be responsive means to react quickly and positively. Did you see the AND? Quickly AND positively. Funny nuance don't you think? Quick and positive. THAT is responsive.
So how do you react to business? How about to Life? Or People?
Do you react quickly? How about positively?
Psychology Today says,
A reaction is instant. It’s driven by the beliefs, biases, and prejudices of the unconscious mind. When you say or do something “without thinking,” that’s the unconscious mind running the show. A reaction is based in the moment and doesn’t take into consideration long-term effects of what you do or say. A reaction is survival-oriented and on some level a defense mechanism. It might turn out okay but often a reaction is something you regret later.
A response on the other hand usually comes more slowly. It’s based on information from both the conscious mind and unconscious mind. A response will be more “ecological,” meaning that it takes into consideration the well-being of not only you but those around you. It weighs the long-term effects and stays in line with your core values.
So how do you make that call in the moment? How do you choose to respond instead of reacting when a reaction is just that, a reaction, in an instant?
Try being conscious of being responsive before you go into the meeting. Before you take the call. Before you check your email. Be mindful of being responsive. Tell yourself, "Self, if I encounter a situation where I feel like reacting I am going to pause." That pause will save you a lot of headaches.
So what areas of your business or life need you to be responsive?