The first time I heard about this concept of Pause and Respond was when reading a book by Viktor Frankl titled Man’s Search for Meaning.
He says that “between stimulus and response, there is a space of time”. When something happens to you, that is what is referred to as the “stimulus” and before you respond, there is an opportunity to stop and process or pause and respond to things.
I know myself, I have been guilty of wanting to react right away, when seeing something like a Facebook post or email that offends me. My immediate reaction is to want to jump right into it and defend myself… I am sure we have all experienced that, am I right?
In the times where I have jumped in, without pausing, I have gotten myself into situations where I offend someone with how I responded.
I know for myself, when I take the time to pause, after that initial stimulus, I find myself better able to distinguish the things that may not even need a response, because sometimes a non-response is the best response.
Giving ourselves that pause helps to take the emotion out of the equation to allow yourself to better analyze the situation.
This leads into the second bit of advice which is to Be Curious…
By pausing and responding, and THEN saying to myself “be curious” gets me asking “why did this person respond in this way or talk to me in this way?”
By being curious, I now have a better opportunity to remove from the equation, that initial defensive response that I wanted to respond with, and instead, puts myself in their shoes.
Maybe there is something going on in their lives, or maybe this is something that has been on their mind for a while that has been pent up. By analyzing it I can also see past their emotions to get to the root of what they are trying to say. Then my response can be directed at their real concern, instead of getting myself into a situation where I am more preoccupied with defending myself.
This is really important when dealing with your business in a social media world where we do often find ourselves having to read things that are not always kind. It can be really hard when you put so much work in your business to deal with people that are difficult or hard to please, but we have to be able to remove the emotion from the equation so we can get what they are really saying in order to do our best to resolve the issue.
Just remember, even if the person that you are responding to doesn’t necessarily appreciate your efforts, other people will also see your response and how you measured yourself and it will make a difference to them.
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