We Can Wednesday- Learn to Respond

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Learning to Be Responsive, Not Reactive: The Power of Choice

When faced with a problem, our immediate reaction can often be driven by emotion, leading to impulsive decisions that might not serve our best interests. Learning to be responsive rather than reactive is a vital skill that can transform our interactions and outcomes. This shift involves recognizing the power of choice and leveraging it thoughtfully to promote a sense of well-being and safety for ourselves and others.

The Power of Choice

Every situation presents us with choices. While we may not control the events that unfold, we have control over our responses. By taking a moment to pause, we can move from a reactive state to a responsive one, ensuring that our actions are aligned with our values and goals.

Teaching the power of choice at an early age is crucial for the growth and development of our children. Take a moment to think about very young children. Before they learn to talk, they rely on their emotions to communicate their needs. They cry to signal hunger, discomfort, or the need for attention. This pattern persists until they develop language skills, enabling them to express their needs through words.

As children grow, you'll notice emotional outbursts they initially used to get what they wanted. Have you ever seen a child throw a tantrum for a toy or candy at a store? I've witnessed some intense outbursts and families giving in, which reinforces the idea that emotional reactions are an effective way to get what they want.

It is up to all of us to teach the power of choice and equip children with the tools to respond appropriately to situations, rather than reacting impulsively. By guiding them to understand and manage their emotions, we can help them make thoughtful decisions and develop healthy ways to handle challenges.

Utilizing "Lead with Two Rules"

The principles outlined in "Lead with Two Rules: Feeling Good & Feeling Safe" provide a framework for making this shift. The first rule, "Feeling Good," encourages us to seek positive outcomes and maintain our emotional health. The second rule, "Feeling Safe," emphasizes creating an environment of trust and security.

When faced with a problem, ask yourself:

  1. How can I respond in a way that makes me feel good about my actions?
  2. How can I create a sense of safety for myself and others in this situation?

Focusing on Asking Questions

One of the most effective tools in becoming responsive is the art of asking questions. By engaging in inquiry, we open up possibilities and gather information that can lead to better decisions. Here are some questions to guide your thinking:

  • What is the root cause of this problem?
  • What are my options for addressing it?
  • How will each option affect my well-being and the well-being of others?
  • What can I learn from this situation that will help me grow?

Helping Self and Others

By making a conscious choice to be responsive, we not only improve our own outcomes but also set a positive example for others. Our thoughtful responses can inspire those around us to adopt a similar approach, creating a ripple effect of positive change.

When we focus on feeling good and feeling safe, we contribute to a supportive environment where everyone can thrive. This approach builds trust, encourages open communication, and fosters a sense of community.

Let’s Sum it Up

Learning to be responsive rather than reactive is a powerful way to harness the power of choice. By utilizing the principles from "Lead with Two Rules" and focusing on asking insightful questions, we can navigate challenges more effectively and create a positive impact on ourselves and those around us. Embrace the power of choice to promote a life where feeling good and feeling safe are at the forefront of every decision.

When children consistently learn these skills each year of their educational journey, reinforced at home and modeled in the community, we will see significant positive changes reflected in our society. Understanding that we are responsible and accountable for our choices will encourage us to take the necessary time to ensure we are choosing to be part of the solution, not the problem. This collective effort will create a culture where thoughtful decision-making and emotional intelligence are valued and practiced, leading to a healthier, more supportive environment for everyone.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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