Respond rather than React.
Updated: Jun 18
Leaders who react are constantly fighting fires. Leaders who respond can prevent a blaze from igniting.
A leader knows how vital good communication skills are and understand the consequences of getting it wrong. When the market is transforming, when your major client is entertaining offers from your competitors or when your best talent is threatening to leave.
5 seconds is all it takes to Pause and Reflect.
“Reflection time may be the difference between a smart business decision or a very bad one"
Reflective responding is communication with considered thought. Having first employed the necessary listening skills, (see blog on Listening is Leadership Key) a leader can take in the information and reflect rather than react.
Looping and Dipping
Looping and Dipping is the art of reflective responding.
By looping you are checking back with what the other said, paraphrasing or summarising the key message or relaying a deeper intention in what they said.
The art to looping is not repeating verbatim or parroting but using your own words. Looping helps to clarify what has been said, rather than leaving with any assumptions which can lead to misunderstandings. Looping makes the other person feel heard and understood, listened to and respected.
Dipping is the internal “checking in” with ourselves, ensuring our mind has not wandered and taking note of our emotional self. This only takes 3 seconds to take note of your emotions and watch your triggers.
If you feel angered or upset by something in the conversation take this opportunity to internally acknowledge the emotion with curiosity – name it.
This might sound like “Oh I’m feeling myself getting Angry… that’s interesting” by simply naming how you feel you begin to release the energetic charge in the emotion so that you can reflectively respond rather than emotionally react.
If your emotions still have too much charge the most appropriate response may be to simply say “hmm I’ll have to think about that” rather than risk damage to a valuable client relationship over a difference of opinion.
Give these tools a try and let me know how you went.
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