Have you heard of H.U.M.A.N. Strategies™? This framework is my dynamic approach to personal and professional leadership, communication, and effective decision-making skills — and the foundation of my work as a speaker, facilitator and Coach. And lately, I’ve been taking some time to dig deep into each element (in my last post, we talked about the first two).

H.U.M.A.N. Strategies is all about putting humanity back into organizations.

As a reminder, the five core principles of H.U.M.A.N. Strategies are:

  • Honor the person
  • Understand perspectives
  • Manage reactions
  • Attract desired results
  • Negotiate solutions

Today, we’ll be exploring the third and fourth elements of H.U.M.A.N. Strategies:

  1. Manage reactions
  2. Attract desired results

Manage Reactions

In my last post, I spoke about the need to honor people through the ability to truly understand their perspectives

But the #1 thing that throws a wrench in our capacity to do that well is our reactions. 

Something that I’ve said before bears repeating: there’s an important distinction to be made between a response and a reaction. 

A reaction is something we do without conscious choice in the process, like hitting the brakes if a ball rolls into the street (because a small child may chase after it). A response, however, is something we choose. It’s a calculated decision. 

When we fail to manage our reactions — and respond reactively to a situation — we fail to understand perspectives and honor the person. And we open the door to all sorts of dysfunction.

It’s important to recognize that when it comes to reactions, we may be triggered. Someone may say something that offends, confuses, or upsets us without intentionally trying to trigger us. We all have our own baggage.  

What we have here is what Brené Brown would call an opportunity for generous assumption. To quote her directly (from Dare to Lead): “I know my life is better when I work from the assumption that everyone is doing the best they can.”

Brown defines generosity as the ability to “extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.” (For more on the subject, check out this episode of Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast.)

When we strive for that mindset of generous assumption, we assume positive intent. 

Assume the intentions of others are good until proven otherwise. If we can accomplish that, we are much less likely to have a knee-jerk reaction to someone whose words or actions might rub us the wrong way. 

And we’re much more likely to be insatiably curious which, again, helps put us in a position to better understand perspectives. In turn, we’re far more likely to ask intelligent questions, engage with them, and show them that we take them seriously and see them. Our efforts to understand them honor them and validate their humanity. 

See how keeping our reactions in check has a ripple effect? It helps us be better humans, and it helps us to understand and honor those around us.

But the work doesn’t stop there. The next important piece of the H.U.M.A.N. Strategies framework is to attract desired results.

More on that next week!


Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash