Compassionate Conversation Toolkit: Slowing down

Courtesy of Sindy Strife @ Unsplash

Slowing down the present moment may be the fastest way to get to the heart of the matter. Because it is in slowing down that each moment reveals its depth and richness, and chronos (quantified time as measured linearly in units) makes way for kairos (qualitative time as in both timelessness and timeliness). When I slow down, I find myself more able to:

  1. Respond in ways that are aligned with my intention
  2. Listen more fully, and not miss words
  3. Make the speaker feel more relaxed
  4. Pick up non-verbal cues
  5. Keep my ego in check

Slowing down means:

  1. Not rushing in to fill silence
  2. Sensing if more wishes to be said
  3. Going with the flow and not the clock
  4. Speaking at a slower pace and softer tone
  5. Checking for understanding by reflecting what was shared

This naturally means that it’s a tad more difficult to be compassionate if:

  • There’s a meeting you have to attend 10min, in which case it’s wise to say, something to the effect “I can see this is important to you, and I don’t wish to cut the conversation short as I have a meeting I need to attend in 10 minutes. Would it be ok if I pop by your office later this afternoon?
  • There’s a presentation you have to prepare for and your mind would be restless, in which case it’s wise to say, something to the effect “I would like to be able to give you my full attention, and what would work best for me is to have a drink later after work. Would that work for you?
  • You’re impatient with “that kind” of problem and just wish to get the conversation over and done with, in which case it’s wise to say, something to the effect, “It’s difficult for me to see how I can meaningfully help so I’m curious if you know what exactly you need from me?

In other words, if you can’t make ‘as-much-time-as-is-needed’ in that moment, it’s better to propose a later time when you’re able to slow time down. It’s really not about how efficient the conversation is from a ‘solutioning’ perspective. Instead, a compassionate connection is about how satiated the soul and spirit (for both parties) is after the conversation. The latter will ultimately save you much more time in the long run 😊

PS. If you are curious about how I came to compassion, click here 🌹

Executive Doctoral Candidate * 6x Entrepreneur * Nonviolent Communication Mediator * Healing & Reconciliation Facilitator * Compassion Coach * roslinachai.com

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