Most of you would have heard the cockroach story. If you haven’t , let me repeat it for you.
At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming and jumping out of fear. After few desperate attempts, she finally managed to push the cockroach away, but it landed on another lady in the group.Now, it was the turn of this another lady to break into a dance and continue the drama.
While this was going on, the waiter enters the scene and rushes forward to their rescue. The cockroach next falls upon the waiter. The waiter was composed . He observed the cockroach that sat on his shirt, grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.
While the cockroach was responsible for creating panic, it was the inability of the ladies in the room to manage the panic that made them React. The waiter was more composed , and he therefore Responded.
Isn’t this something which happens to most of us. An unpleasant news, unexpected behavior from a colleague/friend/children or anyone close to us ,sends us into a reactive mode. In the office, you are all set to make a terrific presentation and midway you lose your cool because people start pointing errors, ask difficult questions or don’t agree with your ideas. Such reactions many a time snowball into bigger issues that get out of control.
Reaction is the root cause for distress, unclear thinking , creating a toxic environment , but when you respond , it would be more rounded , controlled and confident you, responding to a situation.
Responding to a situation , however, bad or good ,allows you to think and be in control. It also increases the confidence of those that work with you.
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Victor Frankl