Slow Down to Speed Things Up!

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Save yourself time, money and energy

They say “Time Stands Still” well, even though we both know it doesn’t, you can make it slow down for you.  Slow down to speed things up.  Yes, I know – it’s a dichotomy (I had to look it up – a polar opposite, a contrariety) to say you have to slow down to speed things up.  Well it’s true.

As women, we like to romp through our ‘To Do’ lists and often forget we have a choice in the moment.  A choice as to how we respond and this is what I want to put to you.  Slow down to buy yourself more time and speed up what you actually want to do.

So often we think we have to decide on the spot; say “yes” or “no” in the moment and know all the answers to the questions we’re asked.  Well, we’re actually making things harder for ourselves and harder on ourselves if we believe that to be true.

One thing I’ve learned is that we think faster than we think.  Our brain processes the question; the decision; the issue in front of us quickly.  What we do is assume that we have to always be thinking on the spot and just because we’re asked a question we have to know the answer; respond straight away or act immediately.  Well, we don’t.  Even if we do know the answer, we don’t have to commit ourselves straight away.

We can buy ourselves time and we can make the other person wait – even if it’s for just a few seconds.

Women say that one of the big struggles they have when they’re promoted or as they take on more responsibility is the feeling of fear of having to know all the answers; of “making the right decision on the spot”.

Well, “hello”– firstly who does know all the answers?  Secondly, who knows what the right decision is? Only time tells us that.  We make decisions taking into account what’s going on at the time; the information, insight and instinct we have and then, we wait to find out how it pans out.

It’s liberating – certainly it is for me – to know that I don’t have to know all the answers and I don’t have to do everything or decide everything “now” – even if it would suit others if I do.

People waste huge amounts of time, money and energy – our three most precious resources – by rushing in to decisions; responding to emails in a “shooting from the fingertip” mode; being asked questions and blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.  Clearing up or back-tracking from rushed decisions or responses just slows us down.

Here’s just 3 of the many ways to slow things down to speed things up for yourself when you’re asked a question:

  1. Repeat the question.  Say it back to the person in a way that sounds thoughtful (it is!) so you and your brain can process it.  It also has the added bonus of making sure the person asking the question is actually asking what they want.  (This is a great tip for interviews by the way)
  2. Ask the person asking what they think first.  You can literally say “hmm, now before I tell you what I think, what do you think?”  This is especially powerful for someone working or reporting to you – why not make them do the thinking first?
  3. Ask another question.  It sounds so elementary doesn’t it?  Rather than answer what you’ve been asked; ask a few more questions about the background to the question to get clearer and, again, to buy you and your brain a few more seconds before – and if – you decide to answer.

Before you decide how you’ll use these tips, do know this.  If you say “Yes” to everything then you are, by definition, saying “No” to other things anyway.  It may be a lot of  “No” or “Not nows” to things which really matter to you and your progress.  Now that’s something to think about, isn’t it?

AND if you’d like a Gift Chapter from Kay’s #1 best-selling book The A to Z of Being Understood, here you go: http://www.wayforwardsolutions.com/questions/

It’s Q for Questions and is all about the best types of questions to ask, how to use them to build relationships and your confidence and when to use open and closed questions and why!

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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