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Group Decision Tip: Reflective Pause

In principle, it’s rarely beneficial to say the first thing that comes to mind. I do not have to say the first thing I think. Even when there’s a sense of urgency — especially when there’s a sense of urgency — I’m better off if I take time to breathe, reflect, and consider my words before speaking them.

Group Decision Tips IconA reflective pause helps me avoid saying something that I will later regret. When I say regretful things it causes unnecessary tension and potentially huge inefficiencies in my group.

Practical Tip: In a group setting, honor a moment of silence before and after each comment, like bookends. If tensions in a group are dangerously high, call for a break or a few moments of silence before proceeding. As a group participant, refrain from hasty reactions.

We have heard, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” There is a healthy alternative: “Don’t just do something, sit!”

Thank God I have learned the value of placing a pause between receiving and reacting. I have seen how the peacefulness of one breath can avert a windstorm of trouble.

Craig Freshley on Facebook
Craig Freshley

Group Decision Tips are written by NCDD member Craig Freshley, a long-time meeting facilitator and group process author. Craig invites NCDDers to view all his Tips at www.groupdecisiontips.com, and to share them freely for non-commercial purposes with proper credit to Craig.


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