Response Ability

Response Ability dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorDo you respond or react to opposition? The first requires thinking before you speak. The second is a knee-jerk action that many people seem destined to wallow in and sink into.

Recently I was dealing with a troubled teen at school. This boy is constantly in trouble with his teachers and the administration. I was talking to him in a calm voice about his bad behavior and all I got from him was deflection and argument. He took no responsibility for his own poor choices. It was constantly someone else’s fault…never his. Perhaps you have someone like this in your life and you can identify with the dilemma of trying to talk to a brick wall.

Everyone has the ability to respond vs. react. It is up to each of us to choose how we will handle opposition and problems. When you find yourself in a confrontation, what do you do? Do you argue? Deflect? Blame someone or something for your bad behavior and poor choices? It is our responsibility to use our response ability. I realize that is easier said than done, but it can be done if we learn to just breath….literally.

Stepping away from a contentious situation may be the best thing you can do till you can think clearly and unemotionally. Emotions seem to short-circuit our brains…and not in a good way. Negative emotions like anger, jealousy, envy, rage, and a host of others can take us off course and derail us if left unchecked. Words spoken in haste can kill a relationship and have violent outcomes.

One of the things that we tell kids who are having disagreements is this: “You don’t have to like each other…but you DO have to respect one another.” That is good advice no matter how old you are. Learn the art of disagreeing. Be willing to compromise and find areas of common ground; and most of all….respect one another.

Those that insist on reacting their way through life will find life meeting them with brutal force. My hope for the young man I spoke of earlier is that he comes to his senses before someone does serious injury to him. The choice is ultimately up to him…as it is for each of us.


Dan Skognes

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