How do you respond at critical moments? Your answer to this question can make the difference between success and failure. In many cases, critical moments can stun you or bring you out of balance, so you want your response to be a good one.
How you handle critical moments is a personal thing. You can find the way that is best for you. Do you jump right into action? Do you take a moment to consider what to do? Do you center to make sure that you do not panic?
Take a moment to think about your response at critical moments. These moments matter and you want to handle them well.
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Have you been caught short lately – unprepared, missing something, lacking information, short-staffed? It is not a pleasant situation to be in. Sometimes it is avoidable and sometimes not. Preparation is so important to your success. When, even with preparation, you get caught short, what do you do? Usually, you have to regroup fast to respond. Best to be honest, propose a solution and stay off the defensive. Getting caught short happens to everyone. When despite your best efforts you get caught short, be ready to get back in the game and make it right.
Always, there are multiple ways to view things. Keep this in mind, when you get into a difficult situation. Take a moment and step away. Identify the lens you are looking through and try out other ways of looking at the situation. Stepping back and identifying multiple ways to view a situation allows you to breathe, to innovate and to find your best path forward.
Your intuition is a powerful tool in your work. There is nothing lightweight about it. It allows you to understand something quickly, without a lot of conscious reasoning. Intuition is your “gut reaction” to something and is rooted in your past experiences, insights and responses.
If you are not in touch with or do not fully trust your intuition, try to alter that. Get to where you can “hear” your intuition when you need to. Sometimes, it shows up literally as a gut reaction – a feeling in your body. Sometimes it shows up as an immediate thought in response to something happening.
Then, try listening to your intuition and see how it goes. Act on it, rather than pushing it away. Your intuition is a powerful ally in your work and career!
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How do you handle disruptions? Do what you can to prevent them, but they will happen. When disruptions occur, you have a choice in how you respond. You can deny they are happening (futilely), get present and figure out how to handle them, let your emotions take over, walk away or do something that lets them work to your benefit.
Whatever response you choose, there are consequences. Accept that disruptions are part of life and keep them from getting the better of you. That way, your work continues to flow and you may be able to work disruptions in your favor.
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How do you handle surprises? Surprises show up at work and how you respond to them matters. Here are 5 ways to respond effectively to surprises:
1. Recognize that you are surprised and don’t react impulsively. Collect yourself before you respond.
2. Identify how you feel about the surprise. Is it good for you? Or bad?
3. Assess the best way to respond to the surprise.
4. Respond clearly and directly.
5. Pick up any pieces and move on.
Sometimes in a rush or the heat of a moment, we can forget that we have choice in how we communicate with others. A big lesson for me has been discerning the difference between response and reaction in my communications. Reaction is defined as an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event. Response is a reply or an answer. The difference between the two may be subtle, but can make a huge difference.
The way I’ve come to see this is, when something provokes a reaction in me, it is best that I settle and center before I communicate. A reaction is not under my control when it is an unconsidered or emotional one. Reaction is provoked by an action or feeling. A response, in contrast, is of my own making.
Here’s an example: if someone is upset with me, a natural reaction may be to lash back defensively. However, this could escalate the conversation in ways I do not want, especially in a work situation. My reaction is caused by their heightened emotions, not what I want to do. In contrast, a response is considered and dictated by me. The next time an opportunity presents itself, try responding instead of reacting. I think you’ll see its merits.
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