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Respond Mode vs. React Mode

Anyone who works in the Commercial Real Estate industry is familiar with react mode. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps you one step behind, unable to get ahead. You work through the weekend, catching up on emails and updating your to-do list, but when Monday morning rolls around, you get a call at 8 am that completely changes your day. Now, you’re spending the rest of the week being pulled in multiple directions, falling behind on all the tasks you had intended to accomplish. 

But that’s part of the business, right? 

Yes and no. 

The unexpected will always happen, but how you approach those distractions determines your success. Are you approaching your work in react mode or in respond mode? 

React Mode vs. Respond Mode

Reacting is guided by emotion, typically some form of stress or urgency. It’s the instinctual, gut reaction to a situation that prompts you to just do anything to address it at the moment. 

“I have to take care of this client right now.” 

“I have to reply to this message immediately.” 

React mode is initiated by external circumstances, often leaving you feeling out of control. Instead of being empowered to direct your tasks and time, react mode puts you at the mercy of others, following the people and tasks that yell the loudest for your attention. 

Respond mode, however, is guided more by logic and reason. It is rooted in processes and systems that you put into place to cut through blind instinct and bring you back to logical thought. Respond mode places the power back in your hands, allowing you to make informed choices regarding the best and highest use of your time. 

In other words,

Reacting is emotional, and responding is logical. 

Reacting is instinctive, and responding is thoughtful. 

Reacting gives power to the external, and responding gives power to the internal. 

Mindfulness and Responding

It’s crucial to note that response mode goes hand in hand with mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on being intently aware of the present moment. This practice notes what you’re feeling or experiencing at that moment, without judgment. 

React mode is blindly controlled by emotions, often feelings of stress and anxiety. Respond mode, however, uses mindfulness practices to reign in your feelings, observing them calmly and rationally before making decisions based on logic. 

As a result, you not only take back power over your current circumstances, but you also take control over your actions. In respond mode, you become more centered and aware of the people and objects outside of this moment. You remove the emotional distraction and redirect your attention and energy to the most productive areas. 

React mode is a result of our emotions clouding the present moment. But respond mode allows us to see beyond our emotions to determine the best course of action.  

The breathing and grounding exercises of mindfulness take less than five minutes but can help us immediately shift from reacting to responding.

Preparing to Respond

Respond mode only works if you have the right tools and systems in place to support you. Otherwise, you’ll just keep running along the endless hamster wheel of reactions. 

We built OneSource for respond mode. By automating certain tasks and responsibilities, and storing all your information in one place, you’ll be better equipped to act decisively. 


  • Preassigned notifications for all team members (internal and external). Even when you’re out or dealing with another project, OneSource will keep the team on track. 
  • Open deal room for all deal participants. If you can’t get to something, your team has access to the deal room. They can keep the transaction moving forward without missing a beat. 
  • Prioritized action list. When you get sidetracked by unexpected tasks, you can see what other priorities you have on your list for that day. Then, you can execute based on response mode, adjusting priorities as needed. 

CRE OneSource is working 24/7 to keep you in response mode and out of reacting mode. Schedule a demo with us today. 

Charlie Coppola



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