We are all navigating new challenges, norms, personal struggles, changing expectations, critical social dialog, and the continued unknown. It is a valuable time for all of us to P.A.U.S.E.
Moving too fast forces us to make assumptions, leave our biases unchecked, or act in ways that negatively impact others. The problem is not that we have biases — that is part of being human. It is also a life-long endeavor to resist making assumptions. By pushing P.A.U.S.E., we give ourselves the space to examine and consider these very human parts of our thinking. We can consider each situation then plan that the impact of our words and actions match our positive intent (and likely do a lot of personal reflection and development in the process).
Acronyms and pneumonic devices were my favorites going through school. One that I am now using in my work and training comes from the book Everyday Bias by Howard J. Ross. His P.A.U.S.E. concepts hopefully will help us all to follow a plan and ensure that our intent comes through with a positive impact.
Pay attention to what’s actually happening beneath the judgments and assessments.
Acknowledge your reactions, interpretations, and judgments that may be possible.
Understand the other reactions, interpretations, and judgements that may be possible.
Search for the most empowering productive way to deal with the situation.
Execute your action plan.
One P.A.U.S.E. can make all the difference!