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Success - Reacting Slowly and Deliberately

Aug 17, 2007
The best leaders I've worked with are the ones that know when they should wait and when they should respond immediately. Mature leaders know that some problems go away if ignored for a while. They also know that there are very few times where putting off sending a scathing email or administering a harsh verbal rebuke will give you cause for regret. However, it is pretty frequent that haste to respond to a laden situation will make you wish you had taken more time to think.

There are some situations that call for immediate swift attention. You should strive to identify these situations ahead of time and determine your response in a carefully planned way. This allows you to respond quickly but not be reactive--you've spent the time in prudent though ahead of time so you aren't flying by the seat of your pants.

The ability to identify potential problems before they occur is very important for anyone in leadership. In order to develop this skill you should constantly look at situations and ask yourself, why you didn't see it coming. There are some things you can't predict, but with practice you should become more familiar with your team and better and spotting problem areas ahead of time.

Some of the situations where a swift response would probably be necessary are extreme insubordination, breach of ethics, etc. Occasionally a delayed response would give the wrong impression to your subordinates or others. Most of the time a delay in order to act wisely will be to your advantage. It is sometimes difficult to identify which situations require a swift response. Careful thought about your subordinates and your organization should reveal the important areas where you should respond rapidly and with no delay. The other areas should be safe areas for a delayed response in order to give yourself time to think and choose the best approach.

However, by carefully thinking about the situations where you should respond quickly you will be able to maintain the proper authority in your organization without doing something that you will later regret. Deciding on a course of action ahead of time is a very beneficial way to make sure you make the right choice in the heat of the moment.

Having the proper response in every situation is not something that happens on its own. It is something that requires careful planning ahead of time to make sure you've thought through the ramifications of different actions. You must plan ahead based on achieving the desired results and choose a path accordingly.
About the Author
Please visit www.leadership501.com to find out more about how to control your reaction in various situations and other leadership topics.
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