One of the key ways to be professional in the workplace is knowing how to control your emotions. In this Torch Talk, we had the amazing opportunity to hear from India Brown, who is a Legacy Leader at Pass the Torch for Women Foundation and is the President of PMPhase. She taught us the difference between responding and reacting to situations you may encounter in your career and strategies to handle these situations professionally.
So, what is the difference between Respond and React?
To Respond means you and the person you’re interacting with have a mutual purpose (completing a task at work, solving a problem, addressing a misunderstanding, etc.) and working together so a solution can be found. Respond is intentional and is a direct reply to a request that is made of you. It lacks unnecessary details that were not asked and addresses the situation.
To React means you are responding with emotions that can stem from preconceived ideas of what you think the person is trying to say and thus can lead to a passive-aggressive reply.
Respond: have mutual purpose so solution can be found (be intentional!), reply to a request (locate key terms), avoid offering detailed explanations that were not asked, address the situation (request) and not the person (messenger). This is very emotions-oriented.
Emotions can be evoked from life events, insecurities, and self-doubt, but it is important to address why you feel these emotions before replying to the other person. So what are some strategies for controlling your emotions?
Developing this skill requires a lot of work and to keep your actions and replies intentional.