top of page
Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Isolating Skills: Pausing

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


April 21, 2014

This month will support you in developing skill in the tools of Cognitive CoachingSM. We suggest that the best way to begin if you are new to this work is to isolate one skill rather than to try to do everything at once. Each week this month we will offer suggestions on one skill that will allow you to focus and practice that skill.

Americans pause less than three seconds before responding compared to other cultures that often wait for 8 seconds. Your challenge this week is to extend your pause time. In doing so, you give others time to think and do the same for yourself. Remember three kinds of wait time:

Wait Time 1

Pause after you ask a question in order for the person to have time to consider their response.

Wait Time 2

Pause after the person answers the question. By pausing, it is likely that they will think about the answer and will add more or extend the earlier thought.

Wait Time 3

Before you paraphrase or ask a question, pause for yourself as coach. This allows you to listen to what the speaker is saying instead of thinking about your own response.

By pausing we honor that thinking is about cognitive activity that takes time. Speed is not of the highest value when our intention is to reflect.

bottom of page