One of the things that I enjoy doing is talking. For those who know me, I just heard you say “no really?” However on a serious note, it is something that I enjoy doing a lot. I have never been one of those who get scared to stand in front of a large group of people.

Since I enjoy doing this, I often try to read or study ways to improve and get better at speaking. I recently read a book about something that does not come naturally. The subject of the book is the “pause”. This is when the speaker stops and allows the audience to catch up, or to allow them to think about what was just spoken.

One of my struggles is with silence. When I am speaking, I am in control of what is being said and when there is silence that control switches over to the listener.

Now this blog is about leadership, not speaking so let me explain how they are connected.

Many times in leaders judge their success by how busy they are. The amount of things that are going on and what project that they can get involved in next.

In a way, this is a lack of pause or silence. For some of us, we need to be in control all of the time and to take a pause will remove that control and give it over to others.

There are two problems with this train of thought. First, leadership is not control, and it is not something that you can keep from others. That does not fall under the description of leadership. The second problem with this thought process is that to be a great leader we all need to be excellent followers.

As I read and understood more about the power of the “pause” when it comes to speaking, I recognized how powerful this can be when it comes to leadership.

My natural tendency is to go all out, all of the time. Set large goals and just before you reach that one, you set your aim at another one. This creates a climate of constant going, never a time of rest. I thrive in this type of environment however often it wears out those on my team.

There are three areas where I am trying to adjust as a leader and pause. The first area is daily. I am trying to find time each day where I can get away and remove any distractions just for silence. The second area is that of personal life. I am trying to make it a point to find a hobby where I can clear my thinking and just relax. In examining the hobbies that I enjoy, I have found that they all are activities that I do alone.

The last area where I am trying to adjust is in the leadership arena. I am trying to avoid being a busy leader all of the time. I am trying to pause and let others take the lead. I am trying to pause and learn to be a great follower. I will let you know that this is the hardest of the three areas.

This week’s experiment is to pause. Try to pause in those three areas of your life. Enjoy the silence, find a hobby.