Finding the Space

“Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

I do love this quote often accredited to Viktor Frankl (though it is not) and I share it in almost every workshop/training I facilitate.

Its message is spot on but to achieve this ‘space’, we need to develop our emotional self-regulation. This isn’t easy but it is essential. Self-awareness is the critical first step.

Knowing our values is part of this, as are developing strategies to create the gap between trigger and reaction, so we can choose our response and not get hijacked by the triggered emotion.

Being able to name our emotions also helps to take some of the significance out of them. Especially important for the ‘not so feel good’ emotions. And this does take practice! It’s incredibly liberating and confidence building when we have developed these skills. They also support us in becoming more resilient – one of the critical factors psychologists believe is needed to be successful both personally and professionally.

This is, in fact, what the above mentioned Viktor Frankl accredited quote is referring to. I truly believe we underestimate our ability and our responsibility in developing these skills. Most of us haven’t received any ‘schooling’ in these areas and many of our traditional role models weren’t able to demonstrate them either.

Organizations also have a responsibility to their employees in helping them develop these skills and also in making the systemic changes needed so their people can thrive. By investing in these critical skills, employees stay engaged and the likelihood of absenteeism (and the recently coined term ‘quiet quitting’) is reduced. It also creates an organization that talent will be drawn towards.