The Value of the Tactical Pause

Posted October 25, 2022 in
Leaders Leaders
Think back on your life and those moments when your heart rate went from rest…to…MAXIMUM beats per minute. The good ole “Fight or Flight” response. We’ve all been there. 


Looking back on those moments: 
  • Would we have acted differently if we had a few moments to compose ourselves, and then act? 
  • Did we really need to say that in heat of the moment? Ohhh, memories. 

Now, hopefully, none of our coaching calls, sales calls, website throwdowns, or filming sessions ever get us into “GO MODE,” but without a doubt, there will be some tense moments that will certainly get our heart rates elevated and require us to compose ourselves. In those situations, what can we do? What is a technique that we can lean on to get us thru when situations trigger a stress response, things are going south, or a Client is expecting answers?

Insert: The Tactical Pause. Take a breath. Compose yourself. Slow that heart rate down. Don’t let your body’s reaction to stress take you out of your zone.

In the military, one of the techniques we were taught prior to shooting was to actually put your finger up to your nose, close off one nostril, and breath thru your nose. Go ahead and try it! Are you calm yet?

It makes you slow down, focus on breathing…and in turn, slows your heart rate down. This is just one technique (and not exactly the coolest looking one to do in a Zoom meeting), but the point is - you must take a moment and breath when you feel stressors, before you speak or act.


In the military, we used to say “never run to your own death.” My interpretation of that; never rush to action. Take a “tactical pause” before you make a decision, initiate any movement, or communicate with others. Or, for us IMPACTers, enter that Zoom meeting, hit record, or answer a client question.

Never forget to take the tactical pause, and breathe. 

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Tom DiScipio
Such a great reminder on the importance of creating "space" to think instead of simply reacting, John Phelan .

I'm embarrassed to admit how many times I've missed the opportunity to do this... and I've seen the ADDITIONAL stress and lack of clarity it creates. I love that this tactic is designed to interrupt our natural human pattern.

Also... I can't wait to freak my wife out later when I put my finger up my nose haha!
John Phelan
Haha...try it out!  Tom DiScipio  
Becca Manganello
John Phelan - Alright so... Normally I go take a walk to calm myself down or do just something to distract me in a positive way. BUT I will say, I did this as you suggested to in your post, and that was actually really relaxing. Thanks for the tip! I'm going to try this the next time I get a little worked up! 

Thanks for sharing 💖🎉🙌🏻


Devon McCarty   Allison Riggs   Anj Bourgeois   Jessica Palmeri   Mandy York  - If ya'll see me doing this on our calls at any time, I swear I'm not secretly picking my nose 🤪
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