I was watching a TV show recently, just skipping through the channels and pausing here and there, and I happened upon the essential Thoughtful Leadership skill – magic. I know it sounds crazy, but I think we can replicate it if we try.

The show I came across was a kid’s show about witches, and here’s what happened. Three young women, who were witches, were trying to hide something from a man. When the man got close to the hiding place, one of the witches did some magic thing and he froze. He stayed that way, while they figured out what to do next.

All I could think was, wouldn’t it be great if we all could find a way to do that? To pause people, and life, while we figured out how to respond? Life would be so much easier if I had a big PAUSE button that made everything stop, while I gathered my wits about me and chose the most Thoughtful reaction.

My boss comes at me with a question that I don’t know the answer to. PAUSE, so I can figure out how best to answer (or to get the information). My co-worker “attacks” me and I can feel my hackles rise. PAUSE, so I can take a deep breath and find a response that will defuse the situation. My friend/partner/family member needs something from me that I feel unable (or unwilling) to give. PAUSE, so I can find a way to help them while also taking care of myself.

A great big PAUSE button would give us all space so that we could show up, and lead, more often from our best place. With our best intentions. For the best results.

While we certainly can’t freeze time, I think we can, at least replicate this a little. By installing a PAUSE button in our brain. I feel my hackles rise? Push that PAUSE button and take a breath before I respond. I don’t know what to do, or say? Push that PAUSE button and take a breath before I respond. I don’t want to go along? Push that PAUSE button and take a breath before I respond.

There’s a pattern there. Intentionally. We may not have the magic power to make everyone else stop in their tracks while we figure out what to do next, but we have the magic power to make ourselves stop – and PAUSE – while we figure out what to do next.

Practice pushing your PAUSE button and build that muscle. And enjoy the magic.

How, and when, do you push PAUSE?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For help in pushing your PAUSE button, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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