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ACTION/REACTION

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

Every action you take or don’t take sends a message. It is essential for every leader to
be sensitive to the reactions his/her actions may cause. The emotionally intelligent
leader makes conscious choices on how and when she says something or does
something because of the reaction that it may cause.

Recall the last few memos, emails, phone calls or verbal instructions that you sent to
any of your employees. In the left hand column jot down the intent of each message.
Using your imagination, what messages could someone have gotten that would be
different from your intention. Be creative. Think outside of the box. Think about how
the message might have made someone feel. Write your answers in the second
column.

Example:
Action Possible reaction
Sent email to remind John --I don’t trust him to remember.
about safety meeting. --He doesn’t have to be responsible for
his own calendar.
--I think he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
--I’m being helpful and trying to ease his burden.
--Safety is important.

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ARIA Consulting 2009 Used with Permission from Achievement Partners


ACTION/REACTION – Part II
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

Now think about an action you did NOT take and the possible effects on the person
involved.

Example:

Action: Possible reactions:


Failed to thank Jane for exceptional --He doesn’t appreciate all those extra hours
job on major project. I put in?
--Does he think results like that grow on trees?
--Why am I working so hard?
--I don’t think this company values me.

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ARIA Consulting 2009 Used with Permission from Achievement Partners