According to Forbes, pauses are “powerful” and “necessary” before speaking. Why? When you pause, you give yourself time to make connections based on your personal experiences or knowledge. Essentially, this time also allows you to collect your thought and respond in real-time.
Reflect on how to pause and think
Learning how to pause and think before you speak is fundamental in developing and honing your communication skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.
Do you pause to build up suspense or to gather your thoughts?
Exercises to help you pause and think
Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your communication skills can allow you to pause and think before you speak.
- Reflect on what has been said before responding. Ask yourself if the information is valid, helpful, or delivered in a constructive way.
- Take deep breaths when you feel like you’re about to respond rapidly. This can give you time to collect your thoughts and respond appropriately.
- Ask questions to help you gain clarity. Questions can fill in the gaps and even act like a buffer before giving a thoughtful response.
Additional resources to help you pause and think
Matter: The Future of Feedback
Matter is trusted by thousands of professionals to gather 360-degree feedback on over 30+ professional skills. Feel confident at work, get feedback on your own terms, and grow skills that matter. Amazing feedback starts with Matter (pst, it's also free forever!).
Cover Photo by Vasilyeva Aleksandra