Do you ever wonder how you get yourself in the situations you do? You know, you try to do your best to communicate really well, and then – there you go again. You end up saying something wrong, or you just don’t come off the way you wanted.
Here’s my best tip for getting yourself out of the mess you are getting yourself into: PAUSE! The concept was Pause was first introduced to me by Eric Allenbaugh, a long-time mentor and trainer of Performance Coaching.
Learning the power of a Pause can make a huge difference in improving your communication skills. In my workshop evaluations, “Pausing” is always listed as one of the most valuable communication tools that was learned.
So what exactly do I mean by PAUSE?
Pausing is taking some intentional time to slow your listening down.
Slow + Down + Listen = PAUSE.
I admit that some of us need to hit the Pause button more than others. I also admit that I am one of those people. My first instinct is generally to say something right away, maybe even interrupt; to defend, to argue, or to just be right. It’s never the best choice.
5 tips to gaining some Pause power
1. Instead of immediately responding say, “Tell me more.”
2. Listen with every bone in your body, as if what you are hearing is going to change your life.
3. Show you are listening by using positive body language. Nod your head and make good eye contact.
4. Reinforce open communication by showing appreciation for the information, the advice, or the direction. Say “thank you.”
5. Don’t be afraid of the silence or rush to fill in. Just be patient and continue the Pause. Breathe and wait until you’ve had time to think before you speak.
Think about this: everything in life comes down to the power of choice. So, think about choosing the power of the Pause. You’ll see a remarkable difference in how you communicate and connect with others.
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She is also the Direction of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition Program. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are available on Cornerstone’s Web site and on Amazon.com in Kindle format.
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