Have you ever been sitting at a red light to go straight with the turning lane next to you, they get the green arrow and your first reaction is to go as well?? I think we all have, or watched someone else do it, despite a blaring red light in our lane. It’s psychological, an optical illusion. Or…a knee jerk reaction to the things going on around us.
So often in property management we are met with immediate needs, immediate crises, immediate…immediate…immediate. As a result of all of this immediacy we can fall victim to the knee jerk reaction. We have all done it. Sometimes it’s the only thing we know to do. However, it is dangerous territory as leaders to allow ourselves to have a knee jerk reaction. Allow me to explain why…..
Knee jerk reactions are in and of themselves immediate. You’re focusing on your feelings regarding the situation, your opinions on the situation, your perspective. And all situations are not deemed to be focused on you. There are perspectives that sometimes must be attained before being able to make a diplomatic decision. Because as leaders, our job is to be as diplomatic as possible. (Diplomatic by definition means to be skilled in dealing with sensitive matters or people, being tactful). On a personal level, any amount of tact that you can bring to a situation makes you that much classier of a human being.
This past week I was made privy to some information that almost caused me to have one of those knee jerk reactions. To react to what was told to me. To handle the situation immediately and provide justice to the situation in my own accord. Because my feelings were involved, my opinions were involved and my own perspective was involved. However, maybe it’s age that made me pause long enough to have a sensible thought process. Maybe it’s life experiences that provided that. Or maybe a culmination of both age and experience. I do not know. I am glad though that I stopped long enough to NOT have a knee jerk reaction. It would have been detrimental in several ways.
I applaud all of you that do not allow this to happen to you. To those of you who may still fall short a little and allow yourself to be consumed by the negative emotions that cause these knee jerk reactions….take a step back and get a little perspective on the situation that has fallen into your lap and sit on the fence post to get these perspectives. Not everything is always one sided.
And to one of my very good friends, that also has her hands in the property management pot, thank you for allowing me to purge daily, for being my fence post to sit on and for being the voice of reason I sometimes refuse to listen to, in my own head.