The Power Pause™
The Power Pause™ is my label for what some would call “thinking before you speak”.
Actually it has a specific application in business and is something everyone should learn how to use. The Power Pause™ is actually teaching ourselves the habit of taking a two or three second delay before automatically responding to a comment, question, observation etc. So often we blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and then wish we could take back the words that had just come out of our mouth. This happens when we react, rather than respond. Better yet, we should practice truly hearing what was said, digesting the meaning and then formulating a response.
When developing the Power Pause™ habit, you need to employ the conscious act of literally glancing away or taking a breath to give you time to process what was just said. Looking back at my career, I realized when I first began using the Power Pause™. It was when I had landed my first sales job and was the only female “salesman”. It was long enough ago that there were not many women in sales positions and certainly, there was no such thing as Sexual Harassment Policies. Consequently, it was part of the game to see if someone could make the new sales gal on the staff at least blush and even better, run horrified out of the room. Somewhere along the line, I started using my Power Pause™ mechanism so I would not immediately react and had the opportunity to respond appropriately. That response could be something like saying “The Royals are getting off to a good start this season.”; if the comment was about last night’s game or to keep on walking if it was an inappropriate remark that would be better ignored.
A word of caution however. A few years later, I discovered that I was so proficient in using the Power Pause™ that I was using it in even in social situations. A good friend of mine now told me that when she first met me she did not think I was much fun. Of course, I wondered why she had thought that since we had met at a golf outing and actually spent time not only playing the round of golf, but also the visiting with friends after the round in the clubhouse. Then it dawned on me that the Power Pause™ had probably come into play, causing me to “pause” that second or two before responding, laughing or joining in with the others. It was a great reminder that there is a time and a place for everything and when interacting with friends sometimes you have to let the situation flow.
I still try to follow the practice of thinking before I speak even when with friends and family – maybe just not to the business filtering degree when employing the Power Pause™.