In my work and writing I call this a “micro-pause” and the inclusion of even 30 – 90 seconds of intentional silence can make a big difference in the remote space when you are leading virtual calls.
It’s likely that most calls you lead are heavy on the side of content and flow, and less about pause and silence.
With a professional’s day full of back-to-back conversations, it’s really important that we do leave micro-pauses of 30 -90 seconds or more during calls to help people REFLECT, PROCESS and COMMIT TO NEXT STEPS.
Consider these opportunities for incorporating a micro-pause:
- Before opening up a question for discussion, have people write out their response for 30 seconds.
- Structure a call with a component which has a series of timed prompts, with silence in between. I often host calls where we have anywhere from 5 – 20 minutes of reflective prompts, particularly at the end of projects and/or months/quarters. These have easily become people’s favorites and have been noted to be invaluable as they are something people aren’t doing on their own.
- Mid-way through the call pausing for a minute to have people note for themselves what is the “one thing they can apply to their work”. After the minute pause (not during) have them share it with others
- 60 - 90 seconds towards the end of the call, for people to note their top 1-3 takeaways and schedule them in
It can be useful to have whoever is facilitating the call to set a timer so they too can relax and drop into the reflection themselves.
What other ways might you create a pause?
Enjoy the reflection!
PS - Take a minute and be sure to join us over at the Virtual and Remote Visionaries Hub as well on Facebook. You can join us here.