I have it on good authority that radio stations employ a seven-second delay in their live broadcasting in order to allow for unexpected bloopers, obscenities and foul-ups that may occur in real life. Maybe this has been (or will be) superseded by technology in years to come – but for now, we respect the seven-second delay.
We have a chance to use it off-air too.
Without it, things that you may not wish to go out “live” may make it onto your airwaves. You may end up saying something you regret; to your boss, to your kids, to your best friend or your partner – so the seven seconds could be a real ally.
Stuff Happens. And when stuff happens, you normally react to it in real time; in the moment. Either you don’t care and you don’t notice your reaction, or you do care and there is some response. But you’re not responding to what actually happened but you are responding to what the happening “means”.
For example, if you are in a queue (line) in a shop or an airport and somebody suddenly joins the queue in front of you then you might react badly. That’s because the meaning you attach to this activity is (say) “pushing in” or “uncivilised”. It’s not the act of someone joining a queue that upsets you – but the belief that unless they have stood there as long as you have, then they are somehow a bad person or are cheating.
Grant yourself Seven Seconds. Give yourself just long enough to replace your immediate, limiting belief with one that allows you to remain OK about it. Even if it’s not true, choose to believe that maybe they have an injured leg and their partner has been holding their place for them.
Nobody gets hurt, you still board the plane, still end up in the same seat and your “transmission” continues.
Take your time – we’re On Air.