We’re going to switch gears a bit this week. We’ve been focusing on how to listen effectively in the way that we, as listeners, speak. Our techniques today deal with how and when to NOT speak!
Our first approach is known as the “effective pause”. This is where, as you are responding to the speaker, you very deliberately pause at key points. This allows you to add emphasis to what you are about to communicate. This serves to tell the person you’re interacting with that you are saying something that is very important to them.
Closely associated to the pause, is just silence. Allow for comfortable silences to slow down the exchange. This gives the speaker time to think, as well as talk. Silence can also be very helpful if you find yourself in a conversation that is either going nowhere, or going in a negative direction. Being silent is often useful in diffusing just such an unproductive interaction.
So, at the risk of being accused of being dramatic, know when to pause for effect. You will also want to know when it’s best to just kept silent and let your spouse quietly consider...
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Pr 12:18