Fireworks go up with a big bang when touched by a spark. They make a load noise and burn bright for a moment. While most people enjoy the show, most don’t like the noise. Yet every year we get excited for the holidays where we can watch shows from others or create our own. Fireworks can also be dangerous to the one lighting them, or to those around if things go wrong.
Every time I see a firework show I am reminded of several people I know, who can blow up quickly, make a lot of noise and put on a show with their anger. I’ve labeled them as fireworks because they are fun to watch on occasion, and yet they can do harm to those that get too close.
These people tend to react to situations instead of responding. They take offense quickly; they lash out instead of listening and they make a scene when things don’t go their way. It can be very effective in getting people to back off and leave them alone or in getting their way on something. Yet it is detrimental in the long run. Fireworks can’t be trusted to handle stressful situations well, so opportunities are missed. They can’t be trusted to accept constructive feedback, so advancement slows down. They can’t be trusted to give feedback to others appropriately, so it limits leadership opportunities.
5 Ways to avoid becoming a firework:
When you think about the people, or leaders, you admire most there is a good chance that they are great at responding instead of reacting to anything thrown at them. Being seen as grace under fire will help people trust you to do what’s needed which builds your credibility. When you take the time to respond professionally it is a sign of high emotional intelligence, EQ. The best leaders have high EQ and it is a great predictor of success. Additionally, people will want to hear what you have to say because you are responding not reacting. Save the fireworks for the holidays!