No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.- Mark Twain’s Speeches (1923 ed.)

While Mark Twain was referring to a pause in a play or story, a rightly timed pause is powerfully effective in many aspects of life.  

In conversation, most of us spend the time the other person is speaking planning what we are going to say next. Instead, listen to what the other is saying, pause and then respond authentically. 

When a boss just drops a bombshell on your desk, don’t go straight fight or flight. Instead pause, think about why this is happening and how this situation might be turned into a positive and then respond. 

Take the time. A deep breath’s worth. Take your rightly timed pause.  Your life will be richer for it.