Leadership Tip

January 20th, 2015

Respond, Don’t React

Reacting is unconscious — you experience an emotional trigger and behave in a way that expresses or relieves that emotion (e.g., you snap at an employee who’s just interrupted an important call). Responding, in contrast, is a conscious process — you notice how you feel, and then decide how you want to behave (e.g., an employee interrupts your call — which irritates you — but you patiently explain why now isn’t a good time, and when would be better).

Great leaders understand this subtle, but critical, difference.

To improve your leadership skills, practice “checking” your emotional reactions. Pause to release negative feelings that cloud effective decision making. You’ll make more intelligent, positive choices that build relationships and inspire others to follow you.