I punched him right in the throat.

It wasn’t intentional.

He was hiding around the corner and thought it would be funny to scare me. I guess he would have laughed more if he wasn’t struggling to catch his breath.

The impulse to protect myself was so quick, I couldn’t process what had happened until moments after. Naturally I felt awful.

Reactive decisions very rarely lead to better outcomes.

When we’re reactive, we act before we think. We make decisions based on what’s right in front of us without fully considering what is ahead of us. We say and do things we likely end up wishing we could take back.

When you’re facing feedback respond don’t react.

When we respond our actions are considered. We make decisions now that benefit what’s ahead of us. We say and do things that we can be proud of and stand by.

It’s always much easier to respond when you have a plan. Next time you’re facing feedback:

  1. If you begin feeling unsure – Get more information. Don’t react without having all the facts. Clarify anything that is open to interpretation so you won’t need to read between the lines and can provide a considered response. Lead with curiosity.
  2. If you begin feeling emotional – Create more space. Don’t react when emotions are running hot. Ask for some time to step away from the conversation to allow things to cool down and give a more level response. Dial in on your breathing.
  3. If you begin feeling overwhelmed – Find more support. Don’t react when you feel ambushed or surprised by the conversation. Let the person know you’d like some additional support during the conversation. Tap into your network.
  4. If you begin feeling rushed – Take more time. Don’t react without thinking through what you really want to say. Allow yourself time to think through the questions before rushing in with an answer. Get comfortable with the silence.

Considered responses almost always lead to better outcomes.

A question to reflect on:
When do I feel most reactive and what do I need to make a more considered response?