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How can I choose the way I react to people? My reactions are so automatic that I don't even think about them.

asked Jan 30, 2017
6510 PointsGold
That is a fantastic question! I completely hear where you are coming from. Most reactions are so ingrained that you do not know how to react any differently. The same reaction patterns have been playing out for probably your entire life.

The way that you react to someone is how that person is reacting to him/herself in his/her relationship with his/her thoughts, feelings, instincts and desires. But, the key here is to start becoming aware of how you are reacting to yourself.

Firstly, I would like you to recognize that the world around you is a reflection of the communication that we have with ourselves. So, next time something comes up in your life, step back for a moment and ask yourself, “How did that make me feel? Would I like to be speaking to myself this way?” Here is where real change can occur, and then you see different responses in the world around you.

It is so important to be present to be aware of how you are reacting. Ideally, it is best to get you to a stage where you hear the message but are so aware that you choose how to react and what to say.

If you would like help learning how to become aware of your reactions in your life, contact me to get you on the path of getting the results that you would like to be getting in your life.
Jan 30, 2017
+5 Votes
26660 PointsGold
This is an important question.  This is a core communication issue. One of the biggest issues we deal with in personal and professional life is effective listening. We don't listen.  Often times when someone is speaking, we are waiting to answer, not listening.

Several years ago, I was in Chicago for a sales conference. We conducted an exercise which illuminated the art of listening . The first person was instructed to talk about themselves. They could say anything they chose. The "Listener" , would look the person in the eye and listen as if they were interested and passionate about everything that was said. The "Speaker", then spoke about themselves mostly. They were to speak for 1 minute. As the"Listener" paid close attention, the "Speaker" spoke without difficulty.  

After a minute, the "Listener" was instructed to not pay attention to the "Speaker". They were to show no eye contact and display a disinterested demeanor.  As the "Speaker" began, within about 15 seconds, the speaker became agitated and frustrated and quit speaking.  Based on the behavior of the "Listener", the "Speaker" knew they were not listening and lost interested in speaking to them.

This was a great lesson in listening. Just by watching body language, the "speaker" knew that the "listener" was not listening.  It is imperative we show people we are interested in what we have to say by demonstrating body language that shows our interest in them.

It is also important to not respond immediately when the speaker ends speaking . Waiting a couple of seconds shows them you were not just waiting to respond, but rather took in what they had to say. Waiting a couple of seconds gives us the opportunity to return an answer that is more appropriate instead of the reactive answer which may not be what we intend to say.

We will communicate much more effectively when we respond with a thought out answer and not respond with a quick reactive answer. Also, when our body language shows genuine concern and intentional listening, we will be more a more effective listener.

For more information on how to be an effective communicator, reach out to me.  I would love the opportunity to answer any concern.
Feb 18, 2017
+2 Votes