Give yourself time to think

BY JUSTIN BARISO
 
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Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos run two of the most valuable companies in the world. From the outside, they seem to exhibit very different personalities. But within their companies, both men are known for a fascinating practice: they each embrace the rule of awkward silence.

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As I’ve described previously, the rule of awkward silence is simple: When faced with a challenging question, instead of answering, you pause and think deeply about how you want to answer. This is no short pause; rather, it involves taking several seconds (10, 20, or longer) to think things through before responding…

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At Apple, Cook has engaged in the practice for years. Back in 2008, a Fortune article said that in meetings, Cook was “known for long, uncomfortable pauses, when all you hear is the sound of his tearing the wrapper of the energy bars he constantly eats.”

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At Amazon, Bezos also utilizes the rule of awkward silence, although in a more methodical way. It involves taking time at the beginning of meetings, reportedly up to 30 minutes, to read printed memos in silence. The idea is that meeting participants have time to peruse the memo, to think, and even to scribble notes of initial thoughts and ideas–all without interruption…

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Cook and Bezos aren’t alone in embracing the rule of awkward silence. Elon Musk often takes anywhere from between five to even 15 seconds to think before giving an answer when he’s interviewed. Steve Jobs once took almost 20 seconds to respond to a personal attack, delivering a perfect response.

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The rule of awkward silence has always been valuable as a tool of emotional intelligence, because it allows you to balance thought and emotion, instead of simply reacting based on feeling…

Why the rule of awkward silence is more valuable than ever

Critical thinking calls for deep and careful consideration of a subject. It requires introspection and retrospection. It involves weighing and analyzing facts, and careful reasoning. And it results in making insightful connections.

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None of this is possible without time. And time has become the biggest luxury on the planet. But when you embrace the rule of awkward silence, you steal back time. Once you practice it enough, you will no longer find the rule of awkward silence, well, awkward. Because while taking an extended pause to think things through may seem strange at first, you’ll begin to realize many of the advantages it provides.

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You’ll be surprised what your brain can accomplish once it’s given a little more time to do what it was designed to do: think things through…

 

source:

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/intelligent-minds-like-tim-cook-jeff-bezos-embrace-rule-of-awkward-silence-you-should-too.html

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