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WAIT - Why Am I Talking?

Wow, ever just hear a concept and have it stop you in your tracks... Wait for it! Pun intended here, but It was something (as legend has it) that Tom Hanks discovered while filming A Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood, the story of Mr. Rogers.

The acronym is W.A.I.T: Why Am I Talking, and it was taught in a corporate meeting and it really stuck with me...

We learned to ask ourselves, before speaking up in a meeting, WAIT - before I speak and ask 'Why Am I Talking'? before we speak. That pause can be profound. We wanted to align our words and conversation to make sure we are adding value to the conversation. This can focus us towards being mindful with our interactions and provide opportunity for valuable conversations to take place that might be interrupted by 'filler' speech - a need to speak to be heard when nothing really needs to be said in that instant.

That got me thinking about this in a deeper way...

W.A.I.T could easily become an integral part of how you and your teams communicate in the office as a practice that carries into our daily lives outside of work as well. We use it to help foster meaningful conversations, encourage collaboration among team members and ultimately get better results faster, but more importantly it allows us to make sure we get to the heart of the matter in our own minds - as to what is important to us.

There is nothing more important than what we say to ourselves. I've shared the most valuable book I read in college was Psycho-Cybernetics... it opened me up to the idea that we are programming ourselves in every thought - that we literally build a program in our mind that governs what is possible by this constant 'self-talk'. What if we could think of WAIT as 'why am I talking' to myself? Often times the silence is golden and our own self-talk gets in the way. True inspiration can't be heard because the repetitive talking in our minds gets in the way.

If you've never read it, here's a copy of Pscycho-Cybernetics here:

The New Psycho-Cybernetics
Download PDF • 5.15MB

TIP: It's not a book about WAIT - but maybe not speaking to ourselves without good intention is a more powerful form of WAIT we could employ.

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1 Comment

The 'deeper' way you position this is incredibly powerful. Another great post!

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