You Can Pause Your Way Through Anything

May 01, 2014    |    Brad Holst

I was at the salad bar in one of my client’s corporate cafeterias recently, when the woman next to me smiled and said, “Are you with Mandel?” 

After I nodded, she shared that she'd participated in a presentation skills workshop that I'd led over three years ago. She went on to say that what she learned in that workshop helped her to win two promotions.  She invited me to sit at her table and there I asked her, “What from the workshop helped you the most?” 

She said that while she loved the SCIPAB® framework and used it every day, the most valuable thing had been, “Learning I could pause my way through anything.”

I couldn't help but smile and asked her to tell me more about how that helped.  She shared that before the workshop, she would always feel like she was in a mad rush to communicate, expecially when she felt pressured.

This would happen at meetings with decision makers, during one-on ones with people higher on the corporate ladder, and almost always when presenting.

She described feeling like she was strapped into a roller coaster, where she had no control over the pace of her communication. More often than not she would leave these situations filled with regret, wishing she had communicated differently.

In the workshop she experienced and practiced how pausing gave her moments to think, breathe, and be more aware of the dynamics in the room. She said it made her feel more present and in control. The regrets were gone. 

Feeling more in control filled her with a confidence she'd never experienced before: “I think it changed how I was perceived by others and it factored into their promotion decisions.”

This just one example of how small changes in how you communicate can effect big results. Something as simple as mastering how to pause can influence how you're perceived by others and what you're able to acheive.

Want to dig a little deeper into pausing? Check back next week for tips from Steve Mandel on how and when to use pauses effectively.