Workplace Tips for a Fast-Paced World

By Paula Santonocito

Working at a frenetic pace, there is potential to miss something important, “a fact, an intention, a tone, a subtle expression, an unperceived issue, history, or a new reality,” Guilmartin writes. “Later we wish we’d taken even a moment to ensure that what we thought we understood was what someone really meant. What’s lost is priceless: the power of curiosity in action.”

When you jump to conclusions without taking time to evaluate a situation, you have a tendency to get angry or defensive, or you make hasty decisions.

Neither reaction serves you well in your job. Guilmartin gives the example of triggering “a costly chain reaction that sends customers running to the competition.”

Reacting immediately can have less noticeable consequences as well. You may not find optimum solutions to the challenges of your job. As important, you may not forge the best relationships with coworkers.

Step Back

So, what is the alternative?

Guilmartin advocates pausing to consider a situation and your options before acting or reacting.

Before you say you don’t have time, consider Guilmartin’s definition of a pause.

“A pause can be as simple as not immediately responding to something someone says, does, or writes. It can be thirty seconds, a minute, an hour, or a day. It can be that one, deep breath. It’s any space between an action and your reaction,” she explains.

It sounds so simple, but it requires forethought. And, in a work environment where automatic reactions are the norm, it requires practice.

In the “Power of Pause,” Guilmartin provides numerous examples of when and how to pause, and shares the benefits of doing so.

This book offers guidelines for managing yourself and your reactions, and it also offers insights for working with others, whether in a management, subordinate or collaborative capacity.

If, like so many people today, you feel as though you need tools to more successfully navigate the demands of a fast-paced workplace, do yourself a favor. Pause and read “The Power of Pause” by Nance Guilmartin.

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