Listen - Think - Speak
Several years ago I implemented a strategy in my marriage, or rather I asked my husband to implement it. I realized the majority of our arguments were sparked because I would present a situation and he would feel the need to immediately respond. Many times the response was not an accurate reflection of his desired outcome. So I began prefacing a discussion with, "You don't have to respond to this now. Take time to think about how you would like to handle it." Sometimes it might be a day or two before we talked about the situation again. Removing the pressure he was putting on himself to give an immediate reply brought a positive change in our interactions.
I don't do as well with my children. Often I am the one giving an immediate response without thinking. I'll answer, "Yes" to a request, only to find out we have a conflict. While an adult would understand, the eyes of a child are able to see only a broken promise. Children lack the logic to comprehend such an honest mistake. So, I'm trying to take my own advice and "think about how I would like to handle it."
In your workplace, are you the one who is quick to react, often regretting the words that come tumbling out? Do you react quickly to some, but respond thoughtfully to others? Watch your reactions this week. Practice "Listen - Think - Speak" (in that order!) and watch the transformations that take place.