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Reflective pause

Good Group Tips

In principle, it’s rarely beneficial to say the first thing that comes to mind. I do not have to say the first thing I think. Even when there’s a sense of urgency—especially when there’s a sense of urgency—I’m better off if I take time to breathe, reflect, and consider my words before speaking them.

A reflective pause helps me avoid saying something that I will later regret. When I say regretful things it causes unnecessary tension and potentially huge inefficiencies in my group.

Practical Tip: In a group setting, honor a moment of silence before and after each comment, like bookends. If tensions in a group are dangerously high, call for a break or a few moments of silence before proceeding. As a group participant, refrain from hasty reactions.

We have heard, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” There is a healthy alternative: “Don’t just do something, sit there!”

Thank God I have learned the value of placing a pause between receiving and reacting. I have seen how the peacefulness of one breath can avert a windstorm of trouble.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

5 thoughts on “Reflective pause

  1. Had additional thoughts regarding this Tip – I have observed myself much in spontaneous, erupted thought situations both at work and socially – where I feel that I will explode if I don’t get this out or if I don’t I will forget its momentous impact – Thus I have come to the actions and words of REACT and RESPOND – Giving myself the space/breath to center myself (energy) and respond rather than react – I have found that my initial thought(s) stays close to the original but it is in my delivery that changes with this idea- A balanced energy through words has a better chance to engage the listener(s) to respond with a balanced (constructive) response – I think you get what I am saying –

    REACT- vb/1:to exert a return or counteracting influence

    RESPOND -Answer, reply – I take the word respond to represent a reply that has a ‘breath’ a moment of silence before responding –

    I use these examples with staff in dealing with situations – I agree that a space before a response is a better decision than one of a spontaneous reaction – Which brings us to recognizing, what it is to be ‘present.’ This requires attentiveness, something we all need to work on.

    Thank you to you and everyone who helps bring about your words for ‘making good decision’ and sharing them with others!

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