I posted today on Big Think about a process from my book, It’s All Politics (PURRR) that can help avoid reacting rather than responding, especially at work. Often many of us say what we don’t mean, speak before we think, and slip into patterns that diminish the likelihood of work being done well. Such events raise tension at work and home.
The PURRR process is a device to use in turning around the inclination to speak before adequately thinking ahead to potentially undesirable consequences. Once you become proficient at this process, thinking about the steps becomes unnecessary — until you find a booster of PURRR necessary because you’re slipping into old habits.
It’s a particularly useful technique if you’re inclined to taking things personally. There are content and relationship meanings imbedded in much of what we say. We have the option of attending to either or both. The example provided in the post shows how to focus away from the personal. If you don’t know how to do this well, someone else’s bad mood can become your issue and your mood as well.
Choice points (see categories in right column of this page for more) in conversation are opportunities to bring about preferred outcomes. Often, we can alter the direction conversations take by recognizing choice points and selecting a path forward that takes us away from altercations, hard feelings, or spending the day seething.