Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Turning Reaction Into Response

Three seconds can be enough time to turn a confrontation into a conversation! In my Bounce Forward book, and the presentations I lead on Courageous Dialogue, the concept of turning a reaction to a response is an essential skill set and mindset to conversational success.
Abraham Hicks says it so well:  “Even in your rightness about a subject, when you try to push your rightness toward another who disagrees, no matter how right you are, it causes more pushing against. In other words, it isn't until you stop pushing that any real allowing of what you want can take place.”
Essentially, the more you push your opinions and your positions on others, the more they push back.  This creates a sense of resistance or even power struggle in a conversation, and can quickly turn it from conversational to confrontational.
There are a few approaches you can master the art of turning reactions to responses:
·         Breathe!
·         Manage the chatter and internal dialogue racing through your mind. The thoughts shape your words and your outcomes). Replace the negative thoughts with natural or positive ones.
·         Ask questions- it is hard to be judgemental when you are being curious.
·         Listen to the other person’s perspective and ask yourself “what is he/she really saying?”  Listen for common ground.
·         Breathe some more!
As long as you are reacting, which comes from emotions, the likelihood of having to do a mulligan (a do over) is quite high as when you react, you are more likely to say, do or think things that you don’t mean.  Responding is a more thought out and less emotionally charged response. Next time you are in an emotional conversation, try turning your reactions into a response and see the impact it has on you and the other person.