That is a phrase I have heard more than a few times in my life. I’m a typical “Type A” personality and my natural tendency can be to react to situations as they happen. This is not always a good thing! In fact, it is probably never a good thing!
Taking action, being decisive and moving agendas forward are all good traits to have in life … but having the ability to do that in a measured way is a great habit to build.
Some of the things I have learned over the years while trying to build this habit …
1. Very often things just are not as bad as they appear at first. The immediate reaction can be the “news” or “event’ or “result” is terrible thing and the consequences are dire. Almost always, once the emotion goes out of the thinking, and the facts are examined things are just not that bad!
2. Volatile reactions lead to bad results. A knee jerk decision, a spur of the moment reaction can cause damage that is hard to recover from. An immediate reaction in a “heated” argument might lead you to say things you will later regret. A knee jerk reaction to a situation can have the same result. It is ALWAYS better to take a few deep breaths, let the emotion go and give a measured response. very often you are better to walk away before the emotions get too great and continue the conversation when cooler heads prevail.
I can look back on situations that really upset me at the time and be amazed just how well they have worked out.
I can also look back on situations knowing how close I came to “reacting” poorly and know in hindsight that I would have regretted that action.
We can all find times in our past that we regret, but as long as we learn from them and move forward then they are part of our growth and in many ways it is our flaws that define us.
I’m still a fairly volatile person, but I’ve got pretty good at mellowing that out … now I just have to master that same temperament on the soccer field!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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