Many times in life we are living from a reactionary state instead of a conscious state. When someone asks a question, we unconsciously feel we must answer them immediately or when something happens, we react immediately. Most times this is not necessary and leads to many mistakes, mishandled situations and rushed answers.
There is a very useful tool to help deal with this…it’s simply to pause. In a conversation, it can often be as short as a second or two, just enough to stop the brain from spitting out an unconscious response to whatever stimuli has been presented. If you give the brain just a moment, quite often it can formulate an actual thought based on the information provided instead of a preconceived response based on the general type of question given.
Also there are a large number of situations where people simply don’t need to know your answer right at that moment and would even prefer a well thought out answer. Begin to introduce new phrases in your life to help implement your pause such as:
When do you need to know by?
Can I get back to you on that?
Do you need an answer now?
These are very helpful questions that can give you the space to answer people in an appropriate way. This will prevent double-booking times, “yes” answers to things that you simply don’t want to do once you have the time to assess them, general unconscious behaviors from your past, etc.
So, pause first and answer second. It’s a simple tool that can make a huge impact on your life!