Silence – Why it is powerful

by Feb 7, 2011Insights, Leadership, Self awareness

I like 6am in my house, because it is quiet.  The challenge with external quiet is that it makes any internal noise louder.

Silence is powerful. 

  • In an interview it tells the candidate that the question you asked is important enough to wait for an answer.
  • In a one on one with a team member it allows the leader to send the message what you have to say matters to me.
  • In a team discussion it allows the person who is hesitant to talk the time to muster up the courage to say something.

What people do with silence tells me a lot about who they are.  I once interviewed with someone who filled the 75 minute interview with 60 minutes of what they thought.  A warning sign . . . . but I still took the job.  Ended up reporting to this person 3 months later.  It did not end well.

Test your ability to create and use silence:

  • Turn off everything electronic for 60 minutes during a day.  What did the silence reveal for you?
  • Go into a meeting with your team armed with only questions.  What did your silence allow your team to reveal?
  • On your drive home today turn off your radio and phone.  How did you use the silence?

Leaders need to be creators of  silence for themselves and others.

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