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Think Before You Speak: Take a 5-Second Pause


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Have a profound impact by thinking before you speak with a 5-second pause. The next time you feel the need to jump in and say something, take a pause, consider the situation, and frame your comments with an intent to have a positive impact.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Think Before You Speak: Take a 5-Second Pause

  1. 1. Take a 5-Second Pause and Think Before You Speak Leadership Strategies with Hilary Potts
  2. 2. Discover… How a 5-second pause can help you speak more intentionally and have a profound impact on the productivity of your organization.
  3. 3. Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. —Napoleon Hill
  4. 4. What Gets in Our Way?
  5. 5. Not Enough Time With so much going on, you may feel rushed and not take the time to think about the situation or what your colleagues need to motivate them to want to take actions.
  6. 6. Thinking Out Loud You may be someone that likes to think out loud. Unfortunately, you can make pronouncements and blurt out what’s on your mind without thinking about the impact your comments have on your colleagues. Think before you act.
  7. 7. Right Idea – Wrong Actions We can get so busy juggling activities, and not be entirely on top of the situation. With all the distractions, we may not readily consider the needs of others. Our comments may be off target and not help others take positive action.
  8. 8. Take 5 to Consider Your Actions
  9. 9. An important communication skill is knowing when to talk and when to pause before replying. This can be tricky when you have input coming from all sides. The pause helps you determine what you want to say and how to say it in a way that matches your intention. Before jumping in to make comments in conversations, take a five-second pause. Here are ways to put it into action…
  11. 11. Match Your Impact with Your Intention Your actions impact others. When you can pause to think about your intentions, you can determine what to do and say to have a positive impact on others. For example, your intention may be to get people motivated to take action. However, when you talk to others, your frustrations with the lack of progress may get the better of you. You tell people to get the job done, but don’t give people specific direction. Determine your intention. Then choose your words and actions to match that intention.
  12. 12. Look Before You Leap Take a moment. Look before you leap into the conversation, which may mean getting comfortable with silence. Sometimes to create a pause, it can help to take a long five count inhale, and a long five count exhale before responding. Taking a 5-second pause gives you a moment to compose your thoughts. And it provides people a moment to process whatever was just said before you leap into the discussion.
  13. 13. Be Conscious & Present Stay in the moment. Consider what you just heard. With all you have going on, you may well be thinking about what happened earlier in the day or what will happen later on in the day. These internal conversations pull us away from being fully present. A pause helps you observe the situation and convey more thoughtful messages.
  14. 14. Determine Your Desired Response Think about what you want to say and keep it simple. A simple trick to formulating an appropriate response is to consider: • What do people need to know? • How would you like them to respond? • What would I like them to do as a result of our discussion? To cultivate your 5-second pause.….
  15. 15. Remember To Help, Not Harm The point of making comments should be in the context of helping not harming. When our comments and discussions cross the line, people stop listening and acting. It might feel good to get issues off your chest, but consider where you are dumping them. Instead, take a 5-second pause and determine what you need to say to make your point and to get the group involved in solving the problem.
  16. 16. Give Yourself Time to Think The next time you feel the need to jump in and say something, take a pause, consider the situation, and frame your comments with an intent to have positive impact.
  17. 17. Looking for More Ideas… Download the Leader Change Toolkit Now…
  18. 18. Inside the Toolkit You’ll Find… • Ways to Get Prepared to Lead Change • A Framework to Navigate Business Changes • Five Change Leader Behaviors to Successfully Lead Your Next Strategic Initiative
  19. 19. For more information contact: Hilary Potts The HAP Group © The HAP Group, All Rights Reserved