The Power of the Pause Button – Part 3 of 3

Today’s blog is the final post in a three-part series called The Power of the Pause Button where SOS Leadership Partner Amber Fogarty explores the art of thinking before we speak and why this is particularly important for those who lead. To read the first 2 posts in this series, click here and here.

Welcome back! This blog series has been an interesting one to develop, and I’ve talked about this topic at length with some of the phenomenal leaders I know over the last 3 weeks. They’ve shared their stories, their personal “pause button victories,” as well as the times they wished they would have pushed pause and given themselves the time they needed to respond rather than react. 

Consistently, I heard the pain in the voices of the men and women who recounted times when they didn’t push pause. There was often regret. Yet, there was also learning. Will we always succeed in pushing our pause button at the right times? Of course not. We are human, and we will make mistakes. We will, again and again (maybe even today), say things to the people in our lives that we wish we wouldn’t have said. As I’ve shared before, every leader is on a journey to learn how to lead.

What sets us apart as leaders? We recognize and acknowledge our mistakes, and we genuinely try to learn from them. We think deeply about how we want to lead, and we continue to strive to be the leaders we are called to be.

Seneca shared these words of wisdom, “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” I will take that idea a step further: 

As long as you live, keep learning how to lead.

Keep learning when you want (and need) to press pause, and continue learning from all of the communication interactions you have, both the successes and the failures.

Communication and leadership go hand and hand, but not always easily. Understanding the power of the pause button is simple and knowing that I should think before I speak makes sense, but actually recognizing:
1) that I have a pause button, and
2) when I need to use it
presents a greater challenge. But you can do it, especially when you focus on relationships and really think about the impact of your words on the people who matter most to you.

I invite you to share your “pause button moments” with me via email or comment below. Let’s learn and grow together.

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