Pausing to Learn

4538 reads

People who communicate well are acknowledged for their ability, to socialize, to sell, to lead and to manage. However, while we know that speaking well is important, we often do not realize the power in listening well. 


The best way to persuade someone is with your ears - by listening to them. (Dean Rusk)


One of the best ways to listen better is to pick up the nuances in what is said verbally and non-verbally. The best time to do so is when we stop our own internal chatter. The power of Silence or the power of the pause is a skill that is worth developing.


How does this work? 


To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. (Marilyn von Savant)


Let me illustrate this with examples from speaking - in public and on an interpersonal level.


In public speaking, effective pausing:


1. Enables listeners to better grasp the overall meaning of what you want to deliver. It enables the listener to figure out your words and create a better picture in their minds.


2.  Short pauses aid paraphrasing and are indicative of the punctuations - one second for a comma, two seconds for a full-stop or exclamation and three seconds for a question mark. 


3. The audience gets the humour in the joke, and gives you a better chance to get the laughs you deserve. In general, pause before and after the punch line. This helps the delivery and also gives your audience time to pick up the humour and laugh appropriately.


4. Analyze audience reactions, and this enables you to make the minor changes that could enhance an ordinary speech into a memorable one.


5. Transitioning from one part of your speech into the next.


6. Dramatization of portions of your speech, enabling your listeners to pick up the mood that your words and expressions are indicating.


On an interpersonal level, ‘pausing' gives you time to:


1. Read the body language and facial expressions of the person speaking.


2. Analyze exactly what the other person is saying. This is called reading between, and beyond the lines. 


3. Respond through your nodding, body language and facial expressions, indicating whether you understand and are in sync with what has been stated


4.  Figure out what your response is going to be


5. Avoid making statements on a rush of blood - this is a great technique to avoid the damage caused by knee-jerk reactions.


6. Most importantly, a long pause often helps you to avoid saying something, and when the other person's says something, it will give you a deeper insight into what is really happening in his mind. Counselors use this technique to uncover hidden truths. You can use it and you will be amazed by how much more you will learn from your conversations. All you have to do is to pause a little more than normal.


In general, pausing between activities, and the normal rush of day to day living helps us to appreciate our lives more, and to see the world in a new way. I enjoy asking myself a key question "What else..... " For example.... What else could this mean? What else could I learn? What else could I do? What else could I be?


In meditation, we try to increase the gap between thoughts. This helps us to gain control of our minds and to stop it from chattering incessantly. It is easy to shut out the sounds of the outer world. But the inner self talks continuously. Power comes from controlling our thoughts and from harnessing and focusing the power of the mind to do our bidding.


The next time you pause, enjoy the world a little more - look at the beauty in a flower; enjoy the pitter-patter of the rain; the hum of engine;  the whirr of a motor.... Or the beat of your own heart. Life is short, and it is fast. Lets take a break.... And squeeze every bit of juice from the wonder we call life...  


Ian Faria is a corporate trainer, motivational speaker and a success coach 


Issue BG77 Aug07


cryptocurrency's picture

YouToken Disrupts FinTech and Crowdfunding at 2018 Global Blockchain Forum

YouToken (YTN) presented their innovative blockchain-based crowdfunding platform to over 1,400 attendees at the 2018 Global Blockchain Forum in Santa Clara, California.Dozens of promising startups attended the event with YouToken leading the way in
Ron Kaufman's picture

The Six Disruptors of Customer Experience

UP! Your Service is a global education and consulting company. We help leaders and companies all over the world achieve two primary outcomes: First, improve your customer’s experience – to help you attract customers, keep customers, generate
businessstandard's picture

Programmatic is transparent, but post-delivery: Vertoz CEO Ashish Shah

 Start-ups take faster to programmatic than regular consumer product firms, Ashish Shah tells Vanita Kohli-KhandekarIs programmatic useful from a brand building perspective?If you have to buy space in Business Standard or Times of India for 30
davecrenshaw's picture

Why “ASAP” isn’t clear communication—and what to use instead

Recently, I found myself saying the very word I’ve cautioned others against using many times. Here’s what happened. I noticed something was wrong on my website, so I reached out to my project manager, John. John’s a reliable guy and I knew he could
vsquare's picture

10 Steps for Business to be successful | Startup Success Formula | Dr Vivek Bindra

From: By Dr. Vivek Bindra: Motivational SpeakerRecommended by: vsquare10 steps tor creating a successful business. You can use these steps to be successful. In this video, Dr Vivek Bindra outlines 10 revolutionary steps for business
jackcanfield's picture

Activating the Power of the Subconscious Mind

The untapped power of the subconscious mind can lead you to new success in your personal life and business life. Discovering how to turn your thoughts into positive and implementing the law of attraction into your daily life can take you to new
pradyumnanag's picture

How is it cheaper for Google to buy Groupon than internally build something like it?

 May be covered in some answers already by some fantastic answers.Just elucidating instead of replying on each of the posts. Though I may have my own personal reservations on the business model per se, they have been able to achieve something
changethis's picture

Willpower Is an Outdated Model of Success: Here’s the Future of Self-improvement

“It’s no wonder willpower has been placed under the media spotlight as essential to success. In a negative environment, willpower’s all we have left. It’s the life-raft, the backup parachute. And we’re depending on it to save our skins. It takes a
harvardbusinessreview's picture

How to Use Employee Referrals Without Giving Up Workplace Diversity

Incentivize employees to refer more women and people of color.