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Incorporating the Processing Pause

I recently listened to a great podcast episode called “The Power of the Pause” from the 3 Caffeinated Coaches podcast. One of the pauses they discussed was the “processing pause.” We commonly refer to this type of pause as “think time” when using it with students. They pointed out that we don’t often give the same thinking time to adults during meetings, training sessions, coaching conversations, etc. However, it is really important to make sure we incorporate processing pauses into our interactions with the adults we support.

Some takeaways I had from this discussion:

1. Some adults take longer to process new ideas than others, so we need to make sure we build in the time they need to analyze and think about the new information that has been shared. (I am one of those adults 🙋🏻)

2. When including processing pauses, be deliberate and set norms. Otherwise, the pauses could feel forced or stifle creativity. Also, we need to consider the context and reflect on whether the occasion actually calls for slowing ourselves down in order to fully digest information.

3. There are some beneficial techniques we can use, such as giving people the agenda for a meeting ahead of time. My new boss learned quickly that I need a little more processing time than my teammates. So, if she is planning to share something big in a meeting or ask for volunteers, she will often give me a heads up before the meeting so that I have time to think it over privately before we discuss it as a group. I appreciate that so much!

Click here to check out Episode #10: Power of the Pause. I would love to hear what you think! 


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