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The Pause That Really Refreshes: Navigating Difficult Circumstances

Some years ago, Coca Cola created the jingle "The Pause That Refreshes." Depending on your preference, that may be true. But cola is not what this blog is about.

I'm referring to "The Pause" that always refreshes. The pause that helps you. The pause that makes you better at resolution when you are faced with challenging interperson situations. And, it can help you become a better communicator.

Taking a Pause, in this case, means to stop and not immediately react or respond to something someone said that has angered you. Taking a pause may mean walking away from from the situation before you say something regretable.

When you encounter a challenging conversations, the impulse to react swiftly often takes precedence over thoughtful response. In such moments, the significance of taking a pause cannot be overstated. This intentional interruption provides a valuable opportunity to gather one's thoughts, assess emotions, and ultimately steer the conversation toward a more constructive outcome.

Firstly, a pause allows you to gain control over their emotions. Difficult communication situations can trigger strong emotional responses, such as anger, frustration, or defensiveness. Taking a moment to pause grants you the necessary time to recognize and understand these emotions before expressing them. This self-awareness is crucial for maintaining composure and preventing impulsive reactions that may escalate tension.

Secondly, a pause can offer you a time for reflection. It offers the chance to contemplate the underlying issues, perspectives, and potential consequences of the conversation. This reflection allows you to approach the communication with a more sensitive understanding, fostering empathy and a willingness to consider alternative viewpoints. In doing so, the pause becomes a bridge between emotional reactions and thoughtful responses.

Furthermore, the pause is instrumental in preventing miscommunication. Rushed or impulsive responses often lead to misunderstandings, as words spoken in the heat of the moment may not accurately convey one's intended message. By taking a moment to pause, you can choose words carefully, ensuring clarity and be more rational in your communication. This deliberate approach reduces the likelihood of misinterpretation and promotes a more effective exchange of ideas.

In summary, the importance of taking a pause in difficult communication situations cannot be overstated. This intentional break provides you with the opportunity to manage your emotions, reflect on the situation, and communicate more effectively. By incorporating this simple yet powerful practice into your interactions, you can navigate challenging conversations with greater understanding, empathy, and ultimately, achieve more positive outcomes.

It truly is the "Pause that Refreshes."

Jim Dittmar

The effective executive is concerned first with understanding.  Only then does he even think about who is right and who is wrong.”

Peter Drucker



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