Posts tagged ‘responsibility’

March 24, 2012

Events + Response = Outcome

One of the most influential equations that I have learned in my life has been:
E + R = O
For this equation;

  • E = Events
  • R = Your chosen response to an Event
  • O = The overall outcome

In the model, the “Event” is neutral. It is not “good” or “bad”, it is just a life circumstance. It is our Response to an event that will shape how we label or perceive the event in our minds. How we choose to Respond to an event directly effects the overall outcome.

For example, imagine you are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You choose to respond by calling the other kid a worse name. The outcome is that the other kid hits you.

Imagine this scenario with a different response. You are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You ignore the other kid and move to the other side of the playground to be with a group of your friends. The outcome is that you have moved on with your day without conflict.

Let us look at this equation from an “Influence versus Control” perspective

  • E = Events – These are things that you typically can’t control. You may be able to influence factors leading up to events, but the event would have happened without you. Life events can be the small events such as being cut off in traffic or misplacing your house keys to major life events such as your house burning down or losing a family member.
  • R = Response – This is where you have some control. You can choose your response. When a life event happens, you can remember that there are multiple ways to respond to any situation and you can practice taking the time needed to evaluate your response. Since your response has a strong influence on the outcome, it is important to take personal responsibility for your responses to all life events.
  • O = Outcomes- This is an areas where we have influence. If we react “positively” to a situation, we are more likely to experience a “positive” outcome.

The next time “life happens”, do your best to take the time to evaluate your response and observe how the outcome unfolds.

March 19, 2012

Responding to Feedback at Work

I submitted a work report to someone with authority to review. Although I submitted the report by e-mail  to get feedback on the content, I received a responding e-mail with the bolded words “there are several typos throughout”. However, the overall quality of the report was deemed to be accurate.

There are multiple ways that we can choose to respond any situation. For the best possible outcome in this work situation, I was appreciative for the feedback and used the feedback to correct my report.

It is beneficial to let others know that you are appreciative for any feedback they give you. Other people can provide us with a unique perspective that can help our performance (such as catching typos in your drafts).

When we receive feedback, it is important to keep our ego in check.I have to admit that I had a moment where my ego got involved. The e-mail statement “there are several typos throughout” was copied to five of my colleagues! I read through the entire document twice and found (only) two mistakes!

Luckily, I was able to keep my ego in check. I realized that I need to work on editing my own work since I have difficulty seeing the details. I asked another co-worker to look at the document and they found about 6 small errors. If I listened to my ego, I would not have been open to additional feedback.

When we receive feedback that we interpret as “negative”,  the ego / story telling mind can get a little carried away. These examples are exaggerated to make a point. This is what we do NOT want to do.

The ego can create stories imagining the intention of others

-“This person is trying to make me look bad.”

-“My colleagues can’t wait to judge me on this”.

The ego can create stories to defend itself.

-“I was tired when I wrote this report, it is understandable that I made a few mistakes.

-“I am more of a big picture type of person, these small details don’t matter”

If the ego feels very threatened, it may go on the attack. In this case, the ego will create a story line that justifies depreciating the source of the “threat”.

-“What does that person know, they are only a _________”

Yes, this is a silly example. This situation is minor. This is just a small “blip on the screen”. However, if we do not keep our “ego in check” and get a grasp on our responses to minor situations, we can create the proverbial “mountain out of a molehill”. For example, if I replied to the initial e-mail with some sort of “snarky” comment, I could have damaged rapport with many people.

When receiving feedback at work, it is important to:

1)  Acknowledge the positive! Sometimes we can overlook positive feedback if we receive just a little bit of “negative” feedback.

2) Consider if the feedback is valuable. Will this feedback help you achieve your goal?

3) Show appreciation for feedback. In most cases, someone has taken their own time to consider a product, report or project. Please thank them for their time.

4) Keep your ego in check!

Have a great work day!