We live in the midst of a crisis of listening. Most men don’t listen well enough, so if you choose to listen better, you boost your value. Show up and be deliberate in your listening and you’ll be more valuable.

The golden pause is what you do in a conversation when you give the other man a chance to say more of what he wants. We tend to rush a conversation. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we formulate a reply even while someone else is talking, which means we are missing valuable information. To change that, try this: make a deliberate decision to wait 3-5 seconds for the other man to add more to what he is saying while you listen carefully. Sometimes he will say more, sometimes he won’t, but either way, you are in a stronger position. If you’re like most of us, this pause will make you uncomfortable because we tend not to like silence. Using The Golden Pause serves many goods—it puts you in control, it slows the conversation down, it communicates self-confidence and is a good diagnosis of your own listening ability. The more uncomfortable you are with silence in a conversation, the more likely you should work to improve your communication skills.

Call to action: Today, look for three opportunities to insert The Golden Pause. Once you get comfortable with it, it becomes addictive because it gives you control and is very calming. In all communication today, be deliberate and listen aggressively.