The wisdom of asking “let me pause…”

I’ve just watched this video interview of Soren Gordhamer by Karen May, Google’s VP of Leadership & Talent, at the last Wisdom 2.0 conference, and felt so inspired that couldn’t resist to share it, and some of my reflections and inner experiences of it, with you all.Soren

Soren’s first words,  in response to the interviewer’s first question are: “let me pause.” What touched, moved, and challenged me was the ease and naturalness, with which he uttered those words. Like good cathartic art, it made me question myself: Do I have the quality of presence, from which I can stop the conversation flow and ask for a time out, in front of a large audience? Well, not always.

Soren’s wonderful, embodied demonstration of that wisdom practice is at the heart of what I call “chaordic chat.” That simple gesture of “let me pause” breaks the self-imposed tyranny of habit that pushes us to give an immediate, unreflected response to a question. It also allows a deeper truth to emerge than the one that would come from a mind conditioned by memory’s routine neural paths. Some of the practitioners of Chaordic Chat noticed that strengthening our capacity to be fully present in the technology-enabled space of an online session builds also capacity to do the same off-line.

Another attitude of Soren that I became present to and resonate with is his resisting to define any outcome of the container for the Wisdom 2.0 community/movement that he is creating, which would restrict its potential. This is a key lesson to remember, particularly, as we started building with some colleagues the “Shared Mindfulness” container.

One more thing. Soren quoted Eckhart Tolle saying, don’t ask yourself what do you want to do for the world; ask what does the world want to do through you? Now, that’s a profound question of consequence to ask oneself, particularly, at the outset of any collaborative venture!

Then he went on and added, “whatever the world wants to do through us, it should become our secondary purpose. The primary purpose has to be just being present. Whenever the secondary purpose becomes primary, we are off, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.”

Isn’t that a good reminder to the “activist” in each of us, no matter whether the field of action is science, business or social transformation?

This entry was posted in Chaordic Chat, Collective Wisdom, Movies and videos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The wisdom of asking “let me pause…”

  1. It was very important to me that you passed along these 3 reflections, George. I have realized, by hearing about “let me pause” and your explanations of chaordic chat, that all of my life, I have longed for conversations to go more slowly, allowing time to reflect before answering. It never seemed socially acceptable. Perhaps we can amp up the trend! I see the Thomas Huebl practice groups encouraging this, by the way.


  2. George Pór says:

    Thank you Alia for your comment. It made me think that you may find interesting of what some people, who experienced Chaordic Chat with me wrote about it.

    You mentioned: “I have longed for conversations to go more slowly, allowing time to reflect before answering. It never seemed socially acceptable. Perhaps we can amp up the trend!”

    Amping it up is, indeed, what I’m aiming at. Part of that is letting texted Chaordic Chat overflow into more dimensions, by shifting the medium to video chat, then face-to-face.


  3. Pingback: The comparative advantages of online dialogue | Blog of Collective Intelligence 2003-2014

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