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October 26, 2016

Allowing the Pause to Work

“Patience and time do more than strength or passion.”
(Jean de La Fontaine)

One of the great benefits of pressing our own pause buttons is the effect it can have on other people. This is never the intent, mind you—we are pausing in order to better control our own next move, not anyone else’s. But a byproduct of controlling ourselves in the heat of the moment is the invitation it gives others to evaluate themselves.

When I’m providing counsel to someone, for instance, I strive to pace my questions and comments so the person has a chance to really hear what they just said. It’s as if their words, uninterrupted by me, start to bounce around the walls until they return to sender.

Try it today.

If you get reactively critiqued by your boss, press pause. Here’s a great way to do it: “Can I take some time to think about that one?” Don’t be surprised if, when you return, her temper’s been tamed.

If your spouse, uncharacteristically, shoves an accusation in your face, press pause for several seconds without moving or making a face, then say: “I’m not exactly sure how to respond. What are you hoping to hear?”

Then wait.

Peace begins with pause,

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