The Power of an Intentional Pause: It’s underestimated and strategic

woman talking to crowd featured
I don’t know about you but it’s easy to find yourself on a ‘gabbling to no-where’.

That’s a phrase one of my client’s used and it’s spot on for what can happen when you don’t give yourself time to breathe and – most importantly it gives the other person time to process and really hear what you’re saying.

Pausing is a great way for you to calm down, to consider what you’re actually saying and – as I call it – to really land your message. The pause is so key in fact, instead of it being something you suddenly remember to do try to make a powerful, purposeful pause part of your conversations.

There are so many benefits to slowing down: we can find ourselves gabbling and thinking as we speak when we’re not prepared or when we’re nervous. When we’re in the workplace where we’re really trying to land a message and get our point across, the power of pause is multifunctional.

Let me explain:

  • It makes you regulate your breathing, you stop– take a breath, look around – if you have to, count to 3 and then keep going.
  • It helps others keep up and – often – keep awake. It’s very easy to tune you out when everything merges together – giving your speech pauses and then, interspersing them with checking in phrases like “any questions so far?” or “what thoughts do you have so far?” which also help calm you and show you that you actually care about the other person’s experience and it buys you time. Time to consider the route the conversation is going, time to gather your thoughts and take on feedback AND time to slow you pace of speech down if you know you speak – as so many women do – too quickly.
  • Taking a deep breath or just a breath itself gives you so many benefits– more oxygen helps your brain be more nimble – it helps you regulate your tone. I often take a sip of water, for example, not because I’m thirsty but because it’s a pause, it slows me down, it allows me, as it will you, those all important few seconds to consider what comes next.

You see here’s the thing – when you pause and make pausing part of your conversation, you appear more in control, more considered, calmer, more certain and these are all traits which point to leadership and responsibility rather than just a list-ticker.

Or put another way, “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” – Mark Twain

 

I’d love to hear what you think. You can leave me a comment or a note here. Here’s an immediate and practical Gift of you!  A complimentary copy of “Do You Have Trouble Saying NO?”

Let me walk you through the mindsets, strategies and exact words and phrases to use to ensure you keep stronger, more assertive boundaries for yourself and your time without upsetting yourself, or the other person.  Also, you’ll receive my twice-monthly eZine filled with more tips, tools, ideas and news.

Kay White
About the author

Kay White is our Show Up & Sparkle blogger. Known as the Savvy & Influential Communication Expert for Ambitious Women in Business, Kay shows professional women how to attract promotion, recognition and rewards at work without feeling they have to ’sell their soul. Kay shows her clients, who are corporate career women at all different stages of their careers, how to naturally attract more income and opportunity all while being true to themselves. Combining strategic moves with influencing skills plus compelling and assertive language and powerful mindsets, Kay draws on her own 20+ years corporate career in the very male-dominated world of London insurance broking. She started at 18 as a Secretary and left as a Director to start her own business. Hosting an annual 3-day Event for corporate women “Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard LIVE” Kay encourages and shows women how to be the best, most valuable version of themselves. Kay is author of the Number 1 Best-Seller “The A to Z of Being Understood” and you can connect and find out more from Kay at : www.kaywhite.com.

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