When the COVID-19 lockdown began, I very quickly noticed the surge, and felt bombarded by, too many choices for online entertainment. Suddenly countless guided meditations, yoga classes, friends having Zoom cocktail hours, and virtual dance parties were available simply by clicking a link. But, in order to process entering into a “new normal,” my instinct sent me to a quieter, more introspective place.
For all things communication-related, I reflect on the words of my guru, Debra Forman, a certified executive coach and the founder of Pinstripe Coaching who, in her video blog entitled After It Rains, video 43: It’s OK to be Silent, reminds us:
I hear some people are a little extra snappy these days, but you didn’t hear it from me, since I’m isolated here on the 5th floor. But, now more than ever, when we feel extra vulnerable and scared, it’s important to try to be careful of what we say and to try to avoid judging others.
Debra also reminds us that we don’t always need to fill in the blanks. Too much of one thing can negate your message. Practice restraint. Let’s use the New York State PAUSE to take a metaphorical pause in communicating!
According to Debra: “Punctuate everything you discuss with appropriate silence and respectful pauses. This will enable your listener to truly take in your words, consider their meaning [because Words Do Matter], and respond as appropriate.”
To communicate effectively and with kindness, “best practices” suggest that before speaking, we should consider the following:
Sometimes, the best thing to say is NOTHING!
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