By Dionne Mischler

Originally published on Inside Sales by Design


As leaders, we do not have the luxury of reacting. We MUST choose an appropriate response in any situation.
Ergo, we must continually build our skill set and experience set to know how to appropriately handle situations with our teams, peers, bosses, etc.

A reaction from us is because something is happening to us. Remember the example I used in the video with my son.

When we respond, we are making a conscious choice in our return. Not a gut-level reaction.

Let’s go back to physics, Newton’s third law to be specific: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means there are multiple forces exerted on something (typically us) at any given moment.

The beauty of this is, as humans, we have a choice in how we respond to being yelled at, cut off in traffic, a team member quitting, a team member doing really well, someone gossiping about us, someone giving us praise….


  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People (book)
  2. One Minute Manager (book)
  3. Have your own advisory council that can unequivocally tell you the truth (we’ll talk more about this one later)

Action tip of the day: what do you do in situations that may push you to a reaction? How do you stay calm, think, and choose an appropriate response?

Come up with those responses, document them, write them on a 3×5 card memorize them, commit the actions to memory, exercise your responses like a muscle so that as situations come up, you’re prepared.

Here are two of my personal favorites:

  1. That’s interesting….tell me more. Why: This phrase allows you to acknowledge the other person and gives your brain time to process what the other person is telling you.
  2. Wow, what are you going to do about that? Why: This allows you to stall a “complainer” and transition the conversation from spewing to action. Specifically, what the other person is going to do about the problem (real or perceived) in their life at this moment.

Please share your favorite response phrases so we’re all equipped as leaders to respond appropriately in the situations that come up in our lives.

Dionne is a 20-year sales veteran having built and scaled Inside Sales team from the ground up. She started her own firm, Inside Sales by Design, to work with companies wanting to build their Inside Sales Teams right the first time and transform their current Inside Sales Team into something greater. Dionne believes in and uses common sense, practical approaches to inspire leaders and teams to greatness.