8.23.2011

WAIT Training

True confessions time:  I am prone to impatience and I interrupt too much.  I don't set out to be inpatient or interrupt, and I certainly don't mean to be rude, but when someone says something and my brain makes a connection, boom, I often hear myself cutting them off to finish their thought or start sharing my perspective and blah. blah. blah.  I've known this about myself for some time and it's an irritating quality (though that sounds like a weird oxymoron!) of mine.
   So in an attempt to get this issue under control, I'm in WAIT Training.  It's an adaptation from a suggestion made by a Counselor of the Year up in Missouri that goes something like this:  Whenever someone's talking, I imagine that they have the word WAIT stamped on their forehead.  As I'm listening, I'm practicing WAIT - What Am I Thinking? - Training.  It's a great way to buy time, filter, and check my thoughts as my dendrites are firing. Here's phase two, the tricky part.  If I find myself impatiently wanting to interrupt so that my thoughts can come out, then I have to switch my focus to WAIT - Why Am I Talking?  It's a little like the concept of the wait time that teachers use when they've asked a student a question and they're waiting for him or her to answer.  It's likely to take a concerted, intentional, conscious effort to overcome my impetuousness, so send positive thoughts my way. I think I can, I think know I can.  Any one else out there practicing patience?  If so, what strategies do you use in your WAIT Training?

4 comments:

  1. I need to work on this as well. I chalk it up to being the youngest and having to fight to be heard. I'm curious as to where you fall in your family's birth order. In my classroom the youngest are almost always the loudest. It is also why I love blogging so much. I'm heard, I'm heard! :)

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  2. Thanks, Amanda for your insight and for trying to give me an out, but, alas, I am the 2nd of five. Still, you are SO wise to think birth order and so sensitive to make that real-world connection with the youngest in your classroom. And I think you're spot-on about blogging giving us a voice!!!

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  3. I am the youngest of six and I always was interrupting or I would never get a turn to be heard! I found myself with a strained voice a lot of the time:) I later learned to train myself to concentrate on what the other person was saying, rather than what would I say. It forced me to think and not talk.

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