Things I Wish I Knew-008- Communication-The Power of the P A U S E

Hi everyone, thank you for tuning in today to listen for the Things I Wish I Knew. Today we are going to talk about the Power of the P A U S E, pausing can often give you the millisecond you need to make better decisions, gain negotiating power in business transactions, and more than likely receive more information about juicy topics than you EVER anticipated. 

Controlling your ability pause instead of speaking immediately is an ART, and like any art it has to be practiced to become a habit until it becomes a norm. There will be moments where you are very uncomfortable sitting in silence waiting for someone to respond with more information, but I PROMISE if you can sit it out and wait for them to speak first you will gain the conversational leverage to gain more knowledge about the topic that interests you. This is actually a common tactic many interrogators will use. 

There are three types of social situations I’m going to talk about today where the P A U S E will benefit you. 

  • Business negotiations
  • Making friends
  • Avoiding conflict

Ok, there are many different business negotiations where stopping your communication to pause will benefit you, but the first one I’m going to focus on today is interviewing. Giving yourself the time to P A U S E gives you time to think. Giving yourself time to think provides you the opportunity to answer more effectively. You can answer more effectively because you are listening for what the interviewer is leading you to say, and not just listening to respond. 

An example, “what is a difficult situation you had with coworkers who had difference views than yourself about how to solve a problem, and how did you resolve this?” 

Take a breather, and PAUSE before you respond. Pausing gives you time to ease your nerves, and respond thoughtfully. Also, taking the pause will exemplify confidence. From personal experience… word vomiting a response is not seen as thoughtful and if too rushed can almost be seen as an interruption to the interviewer’s questions. 

The second type of social situation in which taking a P A U S E can be a great asset is one of my favorites, making friends. <3 Taking a P A U S E when meeting new people gives them time to tell you about themselves, and what they are interested in. This gives you information to relate with them and build trust. The sharing and empathizing of stories is what builds trust and security. Giving someone the opportunity to be themselves, and then relate to them with a similar story or experience because you listened carefully, and took a beat before you respond keeps the conversation flowing. I really enjoy the opportunity to pause when I meet new people, I’m always surprised with what I learn, and how much we are all alike. 

Just for keeping things even, here’s an example of taking a pause when making friends. “Hi, I’m Stacey. I just moved here from San Francisco, and I’m so excited to make new friends and surf”. 

Instead of immediately responding with, “o wow, I just moved here too”, take a beat and respond in the same structure that I spoke in. “Hi, I’m Ellen. I just moved here from Florida, and I’m so excited that I met you too”. 

I know this sounds very generic, but I promise this will build trust and keep the conversation flowing. We have both agreed we are excited, and we made common ground by having both just moved here. 

Taking a beat gives you the opportunity to respond in the same structure, and cadence.

Now onto my final knowledge nugget about how great taking a P A U S E is.  Taking a pause can help you to avoid conflict. Especially right now within our society, there are a lot of sensitive subjects that a LOT of people are very passionate about. Passionate to the point of friendly disagreements, or to full blown fights. 

Taking a moment of silence to observe a pause can help you to avoid being in an awkward social situation. Not speaking first about politics, religion, or personal preferences can give you a heads up on what kind of social environment you are in. A common misconception is that most of the people have the same views and values that you surround yourself with, at least we hope. 

However, there are moments when values and preferences aren’t the same. I tend to keep conversations about from politics and religion unless they are brought up first. If not to just pause, and get to know who I’m talking to and how to best approach my response. 

And with that.. I will now finish with a short pause, and then you for listening to Things I Wish I Knew. Please let me know what you thought about this episode in iTunes and on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *