Trigger Responses

Trigger responses (1)

Having the right trigger responses helps you to keep on track.

There will be moments at work where you doubt your ability to deal with situations and many times where you are at risk of forming a negative fixed mindset that will hold you back. It is in these moments where having a certain number of trigger responses comes in handy. In these situations, a trigger response is a thought that influences you to amend your possibly negative course of action and change it into a positive response.

A trigger response changes a negative course of action into a positive response.

In other blog posts you have learned about many important leadership concepts and mentalities and with as many of these as possible you should apply a trigger response, i.e. a short thought process that triggers you to respond in the way needed according to that management concept. Then you should develop the habit of pushing yourself to trigger that “trigger thought” to change your possible course of action from a negative one to a positive. For example many times you will encounter a staff member saying they “can’t”: “I can’t sort the paper jam in the photocopier”, “I can’t do this much work”, in these contexts the simple trigger response is “Yes i can. I will ask and learn”. Getting your staff to have a trigger response of “yes I can” when a “no I can’t” fixed mentality is in danger of forming points them at the solution over complaining about the problem.

Trigger responses trigger your mind to focus on solutions over problems.

Another example is when you are stressed about the amount of things you have to do and you are looking and thinking about a never ending list of “to dos”. In this moment you should trigger you mind to think: “success list”, triggering a reminder that success is doing the things that matter most and not everything. The same will happen when giving feedback to a team member who is struggling and you find yourself only focusing on the negative points and something clicks saying how am i going to create positive change this way, in this moment your trigger is think win/win, as only via getting the staff member to buy in and see the benefit of change are you likely to create the desired change.

You should have a trigger response for almost every common scenario that holds you, or others, back at work.

Below is a table of some trigger responses that i use at work:

Situation Trigger Response Result
“Can’t do” attitude “Ask and learn, instead of saying can’t” Focus on can being possible and asking being the way to learn.
Stressed about amount of things to do. Make a “success list” Organize your tasks so you are only thinking about a manageable amount of things.
Focusing on negative feedback. Think win/win Give reasons why it is in the staff’s member interest to improve and create buy in from them.
Staff in fixed culture of complaining. “So what! Now what?” Dramatically breaks the focus on the problem and gets the team to focus directly on solutions.

What to do?

Make up your own list of “trigger responses” you could use to take your mind, and that of your team, from a possible negative problem orientated mindset into solution orientated one. Try to make the trigger short and snappy so it is easy to recall and have clear what you are achieving for it and also think about possible scenarios it could be applied in.

Having a list of trigger responses for every challenging scenario should be a goal of all great managers.

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