How to Practice the Power of the Pause

Aug 22 , 2016

What you gain when you use the simplicity of silence.

When was the last time you truly felt heard in a conversation? Where the listener paused and seemed to soak in every word you spoke. And, you felt your presence was a simple, yet a profound catalyst for their solution? But how do you quiet the noise and truly listen - practice the power of the pause?

I recently had the pleasure to speak with George Alwon, founder and principal of Raleigh Consulting Group. George is a long time TTI SI Value Added Associate who has led his company for 37 years with the focus of changing people's lives in a positive fashion.

I asked George about the secret to his longevity and success in our business of people. He shared with me that he felt his long-term success was directly attributed to his extraordinary gift of listening deeply.

He also added that while actively listening to his client’s needs, he consciously holds onto the reins of his ego and remains humble. (To me, part of George’s success is that he really is humble by nature.)

George shared with me that every day he practices The Simplicity of Silence and The Power of the Pause.


Pause Before Solving Your Clients’ Problems

How many times in our quest to support clients do we dive into problem-solving mode as our own brilliance races out of the gate? George brought me back to the precious power of the pause.

What a gift we can give to others by simply holding a space open for them to create their own solution that best resonates with them.

Perhaps what our clients desire is our unconditional regard for them. When you listen deeply, it can surprise you to discover all that your client needs, once they feel safe, is to be real with you.

If you think about it, we are all consultants in one way or another. We can also be considered leaders for our clients. It is the philosophy of Servant Leadership that can truly catapult us to the business and personal happiness, and success that we all strive to eclipse. With this philosophy engrained in our minds, our clients will certainly recognize that we want to serve and serve them first. This philosophy will enrich the lives of ourselves and others. It also builds better and stronger organizations and will conclusively spawn a more equitable and empathetic world.

Listening is both a skill we can cultivate and a state of mind that is about true service. Thank you, George, for reminding me of the precious power of the pause.

I invite you to share your best tips and success stories of when you paused to listen deeply to a client.

Featured image by: Serge Ottaviani (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons


About the Author

Todd Fox