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The Power Of Pausing

(March 27, 2023 Newsletter)

In a moment of stress, pause to breathe.

In a time of tension, pause to relax.

In a period of uncertainty, pause to reflect.

In a state of disagreement, pause to connect.

It’s counter-intuitive, isn’t it?

We were told to “just keep swimming,” weren’t we?

But pausing can be powerful. Sometimes just for a moment, or a minute, and sometimes for a few days.

Last week I was up in beautiful, snowy Canada leading a management team of 20 people through two days of reflection and connection. There was plenty of skepticism going into it – what could possibly change? These people work together every day, some for the last 20 years. How could two days make a difference?

Turns out that pausing is powerful. Doing some creative team building exercises, opening conversations about company culture, a fun evening activity, and some strategic brainstorming can renew motivation and commitment.

If you need a personal time-out, express it.

If you want a give your team a break, offer it.

If your leadership team needs to regroup, plan it.

Reply and tell me – when has a break helped you? What did you need and what did you get?

Are you thinking of planning an offsite for your company or team? Let’s chat.

Me enjoying the snow after the evening activity…


The Coaching Corner Speaking of pausing... Ask a question and then pause. We're all guilty of doing the following: "Why do you think she said that? Do you think she meant ____ or _____?" We start a question and then offer our own theories as a Part II of the question. Sometimes the answer really is A or B, but what if it's C? You've likely cut off that possibility, especially if you're the power with more positional power in the conversation. So next time you have a probing question to ask, just ask it - and pause. Let the other person answer. You might find out that the other person is thinking what you're thinking - or you might be surprised. But at least you've given them the chance to think critically before you jump in.


Want to understand what's going on with ChatGPT4? The first half of this Hard Fork episode will give you a good rundown.


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