What Are We Doing? Reacting/Responding


I want to help the industry I am part of with several items I see a lot of in the IT industry. This series is entitled:

What Are We Doing?

   As we progress through these articles, I encourage you to post input or topic suggestions or problems that you may experience so we can improve our industry as a whole together.

  Continuing on, this week’s topic will be:


   Have you ever been in a meeting and received news about a corporate policy change, management change or how something will be done in the near future and noticed the reaction? Perhaps you were one of the people to react with a standard snide comment like, “here we go again” or “that will never work”. Or perhaps you received feedback on how you performed something and your reaction before the person was even completely finished was some type of angered comment or criticism.

  This may be a typical reaction to change or constructive criticism. But does this help you or the other person? You know the answer is most likely no. The hard thing to do is stop, breathe and RESPOND properly. Think about the scenario if you’re driving. Someone cuts you off or drives right up to the back of your car and tail gates you because you aren’t going “fast enough”. You could react, hit your brakes and get rear-ended.  That will really show them. Or you could get out of the way when you can and let them pass, get home in one piece without the hassle of an accident report, insurance claims etc. Ask yourself what is the higher value scenario.

  The IT industry includes many very intelligent people. However, when someone may be giving “constructive feedback”, a reaction may occur because we feel our intelligence is questioned. A proper response would be to breathe, and ask a question back as to why they may see something that way? This gives you and the other party a moment of communication and clarity as well as showing that you are intellectually able to take constructive feedback and improve situations. A good response would be to pause a moment and understand the scenario first before jumping to conclusions or vocalizing your opinion. And yes that can be hard for some but it is a necessary discipline we can all learn.

   So What Are We Doing? Are we jumping into a default reaction and not thinking about the scenario? Or are we stopping a second, breathing and thinking about the scenario at hand and responding to get clarification and better understanding? To respond shows our intellectual maturity and the ability to see a bigger picture, to react shows a limited viewpoint. To respond also allows communication and dialog to occur for both parties.


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