Quick to respond or take time to process?

By: Heike Cantrup

As an extroverted project manager, I've always felt the need to drove conversation and make sure the team is communicating. But even before my career was mapped out, I was always the one in the classroom to answer the question the teachers would pose. I mean, why else would they ask. To illicit a response. Now. Not 5 minutes later, right?

But lately, I've seen the power of waiting to respond to an email or jumpstart a workshop with any old response. Good feedback, a thought-out answer, or solution needs consideration.

Think about it, a solid technical solution is not crafted in the blink of an eye. Yet us "loud-mouths" are often the ones to make the first breakthrough sound in a conversation...

Other scenarios:

I recently waited to call my brother in law who lost his niece due to health-related concerns(non- COVID). This gave him time to go through his own grieving process before having to relive the pain again.

My son doesn't want to talk about his failed written driver's exam right after the challenged test, even though I thought the pep talk would motivate him.

A colleague at work is too embarrassed by news related to her personal life. So, she quits to avoid having to talk about it altogether.

A business meeting goes in an awkward direction when the technical lead starts wondering out loud which group is going to pay for the initiative. He doesn't get the hint when we try to curb any budget discussion.

All valid when being considered in context. Where do you think the right approach lies?

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