I acknowledge this picture from the internet.

Thomas Leonard in his third principle says: Over respond to every event!

How do most of us deal with a situation. We react. We react based on our conditioning to a particular person or situation. many of us, especially those who have had some learning on psychology know that we ought to respond and not react to an event or a person. Do we really know the difference?

Why do we react? Why do gear ourselves to a fight or flight in most situations?

Many of us know that the flight or flight response, centered in our reptilian brain system, saves our lives in extreme situations.  The cave man and his cave woman sized up an opponent in terms of its size and one’s own hunger very quickly. almost instinctively and decided. All animals do that.

Don’t we realize that this si what we do even now? There is not much of a chance of one meeting up with a wild tiger in Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue of Tokyo’s Ginza, and yet we react t events and people the same way as a cave man and his woman did.

From childhood in fear and greed condition us. Greed attracts and fear repels. Ever caring elders nurture and bring down from our state of sublime innocence  into imitating the way their elders had brought them down. Strangers are trouble, they taught us, and so we teach our children. Don’t accept anything from a stranger. Don’t even talk to someone who doesn’t look like your mom or dad.

Xenophobia is a reaction built into us from early childhood.

Is it a surprise that we react based on our conditioning?

How then do we get out of this vicious loop? How do we learn to respond? Or to ask what Leonard implies, how do we over respond?

If we approach any given situation without judgment and take stock of it in the present moment, with no conditioned responses from the past, we can respond and not react. We can then list our options and evaluate, both emotionally and logically.

Learning to respond, even over respond, and helping a client learn to respond, is a great service a coach can offer.