E + R = O
(EVENT + RESPONSE = OUTCOME)
How would you respond?
THE EVENT (Sat January 13, 2018)
An emergency alert notification sent out Saturday morning claiming a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” was a false alarm, according to state leaders and emergency officials, who blamed it on an employee who “pushed the wrong button.”
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!”
There were interesting responses that were quite different:
- One couple went back to bed.
- One family went to the basement.
- One individual immediately headed to the airport thinking to get away.
- One family planned to go kayaking and were about to launch.
A second emergency alert was sent to phones in Hawaii 38 minutes after the initial message.
- The couple that went back to bed – The husband was quoted as saying, “We did not make love. We cuddled each other and told each other how much we meant to each other. And remembered some of our most cherished memories.” And later, “Now that it is over, I believe we will achieve a higher level of love in our relationship that we would never have been able to achieve because of that experience.”
- The family that went to the basement – the wife was quoted as saying, “Our children were crying and extremely upset. They will never get over it. Whoever did this should be put in jail for the rest of their life.”
- One individual immediately headed to the airport thinking to get away – he did not.
- One family continued on their plan to go kayaking – and did.
SO WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING ELSE?
E + R = O is the base mindset involved in about anything having to do with people. You, me, our families, our teams at work and our communities all involve many “Responses” to “Events”. And when we pick an R that has to do with creating defensive routines, creating FIGHT OR FLIGHT responses in myself and others, we suffer.
In fact, research found in the workplace,
- The average employee spends 2 hours 26 minutes per day in drama and emotional waste (mentally wasteful thought processes or unproductive behavior).
- The average senior leader spends a minimum of 5 hours a week dealing with the drama that creates emotional waste. (And that’s a conservative estimate, based on the research.)
- Imagine the impact on profitability if we can recapture the 2 ½ hours / employee / day spent on emotional waste!
SO THEN WHAT?
Sounds simple enough, right? An event (E) happens, you choose a response (R), and an outcome (O) is produced. Just choose better R’s to produce better outcomes. The challenge is that this simple equation is not easy to manage. Working with Executives and their people in many different companies, we see three main obstacles in people managing their responses:
- The Power of Impulse (people react emotionally without thinking logically)
- The Gravitational Pull of OId Habits (with all the force long term habits have on us all)
- The Challenge of Difficult Events also known as STRESS
All three of these obstacles require changing our thinking to change our behavior response patterns. And that isn’t easy! Changing these response patterns is not a matter of will power. It is a matter of restructuring our thinking and our mental habits first. This takes time and effort. The payoff is HUGE!
WORDS IN ACTION
- Identify a time when you have a potentially difficult event coming up.
- Identify what difficult “triggering events” (people, comments, etc.) you are likely to encounter in that event.
- Think of responses with the idea of, “What would GREAT look like in this situation?”
- Reflect and journal after the event about what you learned.
Onward and Upward,