Recently I attended the 7th annual HR Collaborative Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s a one-day conference driven to arm HR professionals with the most up-to-date content and insights to grow their business and engage the talent in their organizations on an entirely new level. I’m fortunate to be involved in the conference planning committee and work diligently with the team to source and select our slate of speakers. Our area of the world, like yours, is ripe with talent who can share their expertise across areas of the business HR professionals impact most – recruiting, compensation, benefits, development, coaching, legal and engagement. Our keynote speaker, Tim Kight, delivered an especially impactful message.

Tim’s keynote kicked off our day and set the tone for this year’s theme: Building a Winning Crew. The “R Factor” as Tim labels it, is the one thing we can control when we’re out in the daily world living our lives. What was great about his message is that it impacts all areas of your life and not just who you are at work. This feedback is for your home life too and can generate more meaningful interactions with your partner, children, family and friends.

In addition, this concept applies to anyone regardless of your occupation and even the type or level of talent a person possesses. Talent is limited and we all bring different skills to the table; however, our success is not limited by our talents. We can all be successful given the talents we have as long as we have something else – work ethic. Work ethic is unlimited to each of us, but you must turn it on to reap the benefits.

Tim suggests a simple formula to achieving the best outcomes for a great life and applying this concept into your company culture to ultimately build a great organization:  E + R = O (Event + Response = Outcome). The event is what is occurring right now, the response is how you react to the event and the outcome is what happens afterward. Do you spend a lot of your life on autopilot and respond without thinking? If you do, the outcome you receive may not be what you want. The R (response) is what we have control over. We can choose a discipline-driven response or a default-driven response. When we are default driven, we are on autopilot and might be impulsive or trying to stay in our comfort zone. The discipline driven response calls us to be intentional, react on purpose and with the skills the situation requires. According to Tim’s mantra, “If you want a better outcome, choose a better response”.

In an hour keynote, we didn’t have enough time to learn about this wisdom in detail, but there are some key takeaways:

Three questions to ask yourself before you respond:

  1. What Outcome do I want?
  2. What Event do I have? We must recognize that sometimes reality is hard to accept.
  3. What Response do I need? Remember, it’s not about what you feel.

Here are a few tips to manage your response:

  • Press pause to gain clarity.
  • Get your mind right.  Manage your self-talk and get in a good emotional state.
  • Step up. Do what the situation calls for now.
  • Adjust and adapt. Be flexible, don’t be stuck and stubborn.
  • Make a difference. Positively affect the people around you.
  • Build skills.  Bring the best version of you every day!

If you find yourself living life on autopilot and not achieving desired outcomes for yourself or your business, consider a different response. Take the effort to choose a response that is intentional, purposeful and brings the right skills to achieve the outcome you want. If you need to develop in these areas consider participating in a development exercise, such as taking an online behavioral assessment like the Devine Inventory.