Transforming Reactions Into Responses

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Transforming Reactions Into Responses

When it comes to how you handle your business and your personal relationships, knowing the difference between reacting and responding is critical.

If we take a look at the dictionary definitions for each, then it becomes clear that having a reaction is not the same as having a response.

According to Merriam Webster, react means “to exert a reciprocal or counteracting force or influence”. It can alternatively be defined as, “to change in response to a stimulus, or to act in opposition to a force or influence.” In other words, if you were to push against a spring, the spring reacts by pushing back against you. A reaction is often in the opposite direction or done to combat a stimulus. So, if you are constantly reacting to things in your business or in your personal life, you could very well be driving things in the wrong direction.

Respond means “to say or write something as an answer to a question or a request, or to have a good or desired reaction to something”. Whereas a reaction is a negative action, when you respond, you often have a more positive or optimistic approach.

The fundamental difference between the two is rooted in time. When you respond, you take a moment to contemplate what you want to say, how to say it, and what outcome you want. However, when you react, it is often done in the spur of the moment, putting the other person in control, as you “push” back against them.

This week I challenge you to reflect on this simple question: Are you reacting or responding?

To achieve the best results, it is critical that you adopt a response mindset in how you handle things in your business and in your life.

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