I am currently reading “The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward” by Kevin Cashman, who also authored “Leadership From the Inside Out”. Cashman is a brilliant man and one of our thought leaders on the topic of true leadership. In my reading last night I came across his concept of the difference between hesitation and pause. I had never considered the difference between the two words. Hesitation is a warning, almost the alarm bell that we need to pause, reflect and consider before moving on. I am intrigued by the difference.
Leaders are pushed to make decisions quickly
As leaders, there is constant pressure to make decisions quickly. Time is of the essence and people are relying on us to make good decisions, communicate them and move forward. I can think back many times and even just in this week alone where I have been hesitant to make a decision, yet feeling the pressure to do so. Cashman insists, that hesitation is a message.
Hesitation is a warning signal
Hesitation is a reaction. It is your body and mind encouraging you to think twice. Pause is the conscious decision to reflect and to be mindful of the decision we are making. Consciously rather than reactively we take the time to look at all of the information we have, the emotions surrounding the decision and the implications of the choices available.
Use hesitation as a gift
I will be using this insightful gift now. I will pause when I feel the hesitation. Welcoming that as a reminder, I am reminded that great leaders reflect, are mindful and take the time to, in Cashman’s words again, “step back to lead forward”.
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