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Connecting Others and pausing the Communication Chain


Have you ever noticed that when people are trying to connect with others they tend to pause, reflect, and then continue? This is because they are assessing the situation at hand and evaluating what needs to be said, how they will say it, and how others will react. This kind of thinking is called reflective listening and it allows people to truly hear what another person is saying, especially if both are conveying similar feelings or ideas. So, when someone is talking and there is a pause, it is not necessarily a sign that the person wants to cut him off, although there may very well be some underlying reasons that he chose to do this.


What about when you are speaking and someone has stopped talking and then you suddenly ask them to speak more? Does this always create some sort of reaction? Yes, but it does not always happen in a negative way. Instead, it can sometimes feel like the speaker has lost his place and has not heard what was said before. He may look at you, confused, and say, "Well, I didn't hear anything then and I thought you meant...to."


What about when a conversation is going nowhere and people just stop talking all of a sudden? This too can be confusing and there may be nothing you can do to salvage the situation. However, if you pause the interaction and bring it back to the topic you were just discussing, you are able to begin a connection. You have given the other person time to catch up and you may find that they are ready to go on.


Is it okay to pause a conversation? Not, if it is in the course of a heated discussion. You may very well want to shut down a conversation that is getting emotional because you don't want to start on a negative note. However, if you are in a normal conversation where dialogue is taking place, pausing is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it is encouraged. In fact, it is encouraged even by the best communicators.


By pausing, the speaker gets a chance to regain his or her composure. It allows him or her to regain their perspective, especially if they are talking about an ongoing matter that could become heated. It also gives the speaker a chance to remind themselves that they are talking. While pausing, the speaker will also likely ask themselves if what they are about to say is worth continuing. The speaker is being far more respectful of the other person if they take a moment to allow time to think it over.


There are many reasons for pausing in communication. You just need to know which ones apply to you. If you feel as though your words are getting over-speedy, you may want to slow down. This will allow everyone involved to get the best communication possible and avoid any potential for miscommunication or hurt feelings.

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