Pause, Listen, Engage!

Yes and No are very short words to say,
but we should think for some length of time
before saying them.
Author Unknown


This month's Tip is inspired by a peculiar mix of the current Six Nations Rugby series and the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley!  

Taken, no doubt, from the referee's instructions to players before a scrum to 'crouch, touch, pause, engage' — last April the Coalition Government announced their intention to 'Pause, Listen and Engage' in order to consider all sides of the argument regarding their proposed Health and Social Care bill.

It struck me that this would be a brilliant 3-Step Strategy for all those times when we need to say "No".  

Here's how it works. 

Step One:  

When you receive a request to do or get involved in something the first thing to do is to PAUSE. Instead of automatically saying "yes", find a way to put some space between the request and your response. This could be as simple as saying you'll get back to them in an hour, or let them know tomorrow or next week.  It's really important to give yourself some thinking space. 

Step Two:  

The next step is to LISTEN … to yourself.  Is this something you genuinely want to do?  Or is it something you feel you should do?  Can you say yes to it wholeheartedly?  By saying yes to this, what else in your life are you saying no to?  How will this additional activity affect your life balance?  What about your down time?  Does it fit with your overall plan for the year? Does it accord with your values and what's really important to you?

Step Three:  

Only when you've Paused and Listened can you then choose to ENGAGE — or not.

Pause, Listen, Engage — guard your precious time carefully — and have a great month!

Annabel signature no kiss

© Annabel Sutton, Coaching Tips – 2012

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