If you react to issues, try responding
Posted Friday, October 12 2012 at 01:00
- When demands come, many people do not recognise them as opportunities because they come dressed as problems
Last week, we discussed potential as being the meeting point between imagination, capacity and networks.
We also established that you never really know what you can do until a demand is made on you.
Unfortunately, when these demands come, many people do not recognise them as opportunities for stretching their potential. That’s because the demands often come dressed up as problems.
Problems or challenges come to everyone. It is the way we respond or react that determines what we derive from them.
In other words, we cannot be victims of the events that happen in our lives, but of our interpretation, reaction, and response to them.
There is a huge difference between reacting and responding to an event. For instance, when someone is on medication and we are told they are responding, we are happy because it is a good sign.
If we are informed that they are reacting to the medication, we get concerned because that is a negative sign.
A reaction is what you spontaneously do because something else happened. It is externally driven.
A response is what you decide you will do if something happens. It is internally driven and planned before the event.
Firefighters don’t panic when there is a fire outbreak because they are prepared for it.
Thus, to make a shift from reaction to response mode is to at least mentally prepare for the unknown. It is to identify problems and to task the mind to come up with solutions.
You can actually tell responders from reactors by just by listening to people talk about difficult issues.
The reactors always speak of the problems. When they gather with their friends, all they do is to discuss different angles of the problem.
They leave the meeting with no solutions, but more sides to the problem.
Such are the people who blame the system, the government, and everyone else but themselves when things go wrong.
On the other hand, when responders talk, they discuss solutions. They fill their minds with solutions.
Even when the problems escalate, they are as excited as a rookie fire man who has been waiting for his first real fire so that he can put to practice what he has prepared for. Responders eventually become leaders.
Nothing brings out your potential like challenges. Many people see the challenges and say things like, “someone had better do something about this problem.”