Have you ever felt chaotic? I am sure we all sometimes feel this in our busy lives. Sometimes the trigger is linked with internal stimuli and sometimes it has linkage with an external stimulus. things which are beyond are control is us but what is under our control is our own behavior! Yes it is difficult many times to always do the right. The path of doing the right things is always difficult and daunting. But it is only a matter of choice that differentiates one human being from another.
Both the words React & Respond only seem similar. React means “to act in return.” Respond means “to reply.” These small words have a mighty difference in their application. The former is an instant action and the later is something that needs time, a vision to understand a bigger picture.
So we can choose either to react or respond to a certain situation.
- When we react : There are many a times when certain events, or someone’s comments are so offensive that we tend to loose our control . This is when we become reactive and more often than not we cause more damage than providing any solution. A reaction is mostly fueled by biases, prejudices and is mostly short term based where the effect that can be there in the long term is mostly neglected . There may be many times, when we feel that reacting was the only possibility that we had but often we tend to regret it later. It is mostly the most commonly used defense mechanism.
- When we respond: When we choose to respond, which is quite difficult most of the times, we tend to understand the bigger picture, look at the intentions or the motifs of the other person. In this case, there might be a delayed time lag but at least the regret factor is minimal. The need is to take a step back and probably analyze the whole situation and then understand how to chart out the next course of action. There is emphasis on reasoning, analysis , understanding and a greater display of maturity in this case.
We live in a world that is highly depends on virtual communication. We rely on e-mails, text messages rather than talking over the phone. Meeting in person as if seems a trend that probably never existed. Certainly it has improved our efficiency, we do more in less time and probably this is the only way forward. But sometimes, to be more efficient, we tend to react to that business mail that pops up immediately with a short reply without understanding that the grievance raised at the other side might be filled with embarrassments, frustrations, anger etc. Mostly this happens with customer care centers which rather than solving the issue, just add to the mental stress. Because they are trained to react and not respond.
Steven Covey in the famous “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has beautifully explained this . The basic idea is to be sure to understand that “urgent” does not necessarily mean “important,” and that “important” is often not “urgent.” So we need to spend as much time as possible on the things that are important but not necessarily “urgent,” ( responsive/ proactive time) and spend as little time as possible on the things that seem “urgent,” but are not necessarily important (reactive time).
The same works in relationships too. Sometimes, we axe or cut down relationships because we tend to react where we actually we must be responding. Of course a relation between two individuals is always about involvement of two people. And there has to be action from both sides for the sake of the relationship. There also lies a thin line of difference between responding and taken for granted in a relationship. So it depends on an individual to make the best possible judgement where they actually stand in a relationship parameter and how important is the bond for them. As compared to business, in personal space, there is need for more patience, understanding and maturity coupled with affection to keep the bond alive.
One can say that the way we implement this makes us distinct and puts us in control be it in a professional space or personal space. So , a mindful analysis, ability to control the urge to defend every situation and most importantly training oneself to see the bigger picture helps. Because we are nothing but the consequences of our own actions, some voluntary some involuntary. But being responsive helps in the long run.
I came across the below video on You tube and thought it would be appropriate to share here.
How do you tackle a serious or tense situation? Please share your thoughts
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’