Slow Down Skippy. Is That Really the Facts?
Today, it is assumed that faster is always better. This may be true in many areas, but let me suggest an exception. Hard data compiled at breakneck speed can be a good thing. But, what about that negative email? Or maybe that unsavory feedback? Haste is not an ally when processing negative information.
Many an opportunity or relationship has been lost because we are geared to immediate response. In our time compressed world we quickly jump through our day. However, some of the most successful individuals are those who possess a moderate reaction time. This allows the ability to process information, and calculate a response. I am sure we all know someone who is a rapid reactionary. Often, we hate to tell them anything due to how we anticipate they will respond. If we are that person, we must take responsibility as to why people avoid us. Remember, perception IS reality to the person on the other end. We must be sure to not be perceived as a negative, caustic, angry individual if we hope to succeed. Here are a few tips to slowing down the reaction time:
- Always be sure you heard the information correctly. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat it.
- Confirm the information and always take account of the source. Embellishment is common, and some people thrive on bad news.
- Pick up the phone…. I have always found email to be a poor communication tool regarding certain information, due to its terse, emotionless nature. Let someone hear your voice. It can be reassuring.
- Call a time out. Make some distance between you and your response. Never be afraid to ask for a moment to think about what you just heard.
- Step away. If need be, take a bathroom break. Move away from people so any stressful expressions cannot be monitored while you take a moment to think.
- Refuse to be emotionally charged. Keep the fuse from reaching the bomb.
Remember, your response will enhance or break down your leadership ability. People migrate to those who can stay calm in any storm. Quality responses are seldom hasty, but often well received. You will be a magnet for information and feedback, if you can be calculated in how you respond to the negative.
– written by James Anderson
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