Stop, Listen, & Think

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"The Power of A Moment", reflects on teachings of Jim Rohn - Click Thinking Moment.

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The 'adult' in you can take control of your emotions when the situation is becoming tense.

Stop, Listen, and Think

Do you see the parent or child in you that tends to take over whenever you are in an emotionally tense communication setting?

Let's suppose you work at a merchandise returns desk. The next customer criticized you harshly, complaining that the wait time before being served was too long. The customer is acting like an "angry child" (read on) and here's how you might react if you were one of these types of "parents" or "children": 

A critical parent is opinionated, takes control, and can be pushy.  "Next time, come first thing in the morning; our lines are shorter then."    
A nurturing parent is protective and comforting but can't say "No". "I am very sorry. How about some coffee?" Then proceeds to agree with everything customer says .
A spontaneous child is playful, creative, but can be irrational. "Really?" (giggling) "Still a shorter wait than at the emergency room at most hospitals, ha-ha!" 
An angry child is energetic and direct but can lose his temper and attack. "I'm having a bad day, too, ok? What's the problem? Let's just get this over with!" 
A withdrawn child conceals feelings and may avoid to interact. Quietly proceeds getting information meekly while avoiding any reference to the criticism.

When you let your emotions prevail, you are just being you. Most times, nothing's wrong with that. However, sometimes wouldn't you like to RESPOND DIFFERENTLY and steer the situation TOWARDS A BETTER OUTCOME? 

Try something I learned from Paul Witz*. When things seem to get out of control, stop, listen, and think. That is, STOP: remind yourself not to react too quickly. LISTEN: make an effort to understand what the other person is conveying. Then, THINK: recognize what you and the other person would like to achieve. 

(You need to practice doing this and make it a habit because it is most effective at the time when it is called for. I am not an expert, but I know it works)

If you habitually stop, look, and think, you might easily recognize if you were in this example situation that the customer's goal is not to attack you. He just wants to finish the return quickly.  Then you might have said: 

"We appreciate your patience. Why don't we quickly process your return so you can be on your way?" 

This is the "adult" in you speaking. Unlike the "parent" or "child", an "adult" puts reason ahead of emotions. Can you be an "adult" when it's called for? Make it a habit to STOP, LISTEN, and THINK!

- Ramon Regozo

* Learn more about Paul Witz and his exciting company at 





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Last modified: December 11, 2006