The R Factor: How to Learn to Respond not React

A couple of years ago, when we were on our journey to improve our family and trying to learn to respond not react, I had the opportunity to meet Tim and Brian Kight. You may not know them by name, but if you live in Ohio, you may have heard of the influence and positive effect they have had on Ohio State Football and, personally, on Coach Urban Meyer.

They were kind enough to give us an afternoon, and I walked away forever influenced by their formula, E+R=O or Event + Response = Outcome, also known as “the R Factor.”

The R Factor: How to Learn to Respond not React

The Kights observed that events (E) that are out of our control impact us continuously — minute by minute, hour by hour. They believe that if we pause and focus on the outcome we want, then our response (R) can influence the outcome (O). In other words, you have to learn to respond not react.

This can be applied to all parts of life and especially with our children and families. The key is to pause and focus on the outcome you want. Your response creates a teachable moment. However, you’ll never get to the teachable moment if you don’t pause to consider your response first. When you learn to respond not react, you create a positive culture of communication within your family — a culture built on trust.

Thank you, Tim and Brian, for your time and important lesson about how to manage events in our lives and especially those with our children. We’ll never forget the R Factor — E+R=O.

Parenting Teenagers


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Author: Dale W. Vernon
Dale, a business and investment advisor and professed imperfect father of three children, is co-author of How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. He is a frequent speaker about the importance of establishing family values, creating a culture of communication in your home and being an intentional parent that understands the importance of being the best example you can for your children.
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