One tool that will have you reply with more confidence
Aug 05, 2020
In the past, have you responded urgently to a request from your boss, in order to look more valued than your competition? Or quickly responded to a question from an authority figure, to explain your circumstances?
Providing an urgent response can do you more harm than good. It can take you from looking confident and valuable, to looking desperate, and insecure. Ouch!
One communication tool that'll make you look and sound confident, is to pause.
In this blog, you'll find out how to use this simple tool so that you can elevate your worth at the company, handle awkward questions from accusers, and connect on a deeper level with your spouse.
We have all had that moment in elementary school when the teacher is accusing us of doing something wrong. Right? And when she looks down at us with glaring eyes—since back then we were shorter—we'd panic and try to come up with the best answer to get ourselves out of this situation. Meanwhile, the teacher is predicting we'll say, "I didn't do it!"
Now what if, at 10 years old, you paused, thought for a moment and came up with a reasonable and intelligent answer? Most likely you'd still go to the principal's office, but she'd certainly change the way she thought about you.
When providing an impulsive answer to a question, this can be taken as dishonest, disrespectful, and/or dismissive. If you take the time to respond, you'll surprise and enlighten the listener. In fact, you'll be more likeable too.
During that pause you're doing three things:
Replaying the question or request in your mind
Formulating an answer, or another question for clarity
Here's why these three steps will make you more confident and valued:
By replaying the question in our mind we're focusing on what's really being asked. Anything before that may contribute to what they're looking for in an answer, but that can also be filled with brainstorming and/or emotion. When we focus on the question at the very end, we remove all the detail that offers no value, and it becomes simplified.
The mere act of silently counting to four helps us to clear our mind. It lowers our anxiety from trying to find an answer, and calms us so that we can think clearer and respond more intelligently.
Once we're calm and can think clearer, we're able to formulate an answer to the question that'll move the conversation forward. Although, if you're not clear on what the person is requesting, then this is a good time to get clarity and ask a question.
When you take the time and pause before answering, you're accessing your creative mind. This promotes exploration and imagination that helps you come up with answers that surprise and enlighten people. It enters the zone of "What if?"
People will begin to listen to you, value your opinion, and respect you because you're providing new information, and adding to the conversation, rather than wasting their time.
Automatic or habitual responses come from what's readily available in our mind, and is often information that others expect to hear and already know. Therefore, we offer no value to the conversation.
The next time someone asks you a question, pause. Repeat the question in your head, take a breath, then answer. At first the pause seems very long if you're used to responding quickly, but it won't be to others. Others will see this pause as you considering the question, and that it's valuable enough to take time to think about it.
Yes, I want to know more!
How can Success Coaching assist you with your goals?
Christine Hourd, Associate Certified Coach and owner of The Success Model, works with clients to help them reach their goals more rapidly. By improving how they communicate with themselves and others they more easily remove the roadblocks that impede success in their personal and professional life. Book an appointment to discuss how success coaching can benefit you.