The Unexpected But Powerful Tool We Use In Mediation (And In Our Lives)

One of the ways we at Prism Group live out our values of team-connectedness & company culture is by hosting semi-annual company retreats. These are days for our team to come together and think more largely about not just Prism as a purposeful organization, but also about ourselves and our own purposes and growth. Each year, we choose a theme around which we center our retreats and other yearly in-house content, as a way of keeping us focused and intentional in our work and perspectives.

The chosen theme for 2022 is: Practice Pause. It’s our belief that in the “hustle” and “always on” culture we have created and now live in here in the West, there’s plenty of focus on sales strategies & increasing revenue, but not enough focus on slowing down and being present. There are endless resources on increasing efficiency and productivity “hacks,” but what we lack are resources on the power of pausing, resting, sitting still & simply being.

The mere mention of doing less or—heaven forbid— taking time off, usually almost instinctively causes us to teem over with reasons why we simply cannot afford to “do nothing” or take some much needed R&R time.

“Ha! I’ve got way too many things going on to do nothing!”

Must be nice! I’d love to take a break, but I just can’t.”

“I wish I had time to sit still but the kids have this, the wife’s got that, my parents need this, the yard, the car, the house, the boat, the dog…”

Ironically, we meet the idea of pause with full-force motion. We are invited to be silent and our reaction is to speak up about why we can’t be.

The idea of doing “nothing” makes us uncomfortable. Rest is difficult for us Westerners to prioritize, and silence is described as “awkward” by most. Not only silence in dialogue, but also silence on our calendars, in presentations, debates, at dinner parties or quarterly reviews. We don’t quite know what to do with “nothing,” with silence, with time unassigned, and we certainly don’t make room for it on purpose in our days or weeks.

But what a tool silence can be! In our conversations, but also in our calendars, our relationships, our work. In mediations, we often have to create space for parties to think and weigh their options. We do this by tactfully pausing and remaining silent, rather than rushing in with analyses and a myriad of potential solutions. In this space, opportunity to reflect is created, space to breathe is made, and decisions are reached.

The team at Prism invites you to join us in practicing pause through being open to silence, making room for rest in your schedule, taking an extra second or 2 to think before you speak, savoring your morning coffee or afternoon tea, or whatever else “pause” looks like in your life. We hope you lean into the resistance you may feel around slowing down, for it is in that which we resist that we experience the greatest growth.