We are all taught the ins and outs of how to communicate effectively, but rarely are we schooled in how to handle and wield silence equally effectively.
Learning how to artfully leverage the technique of purposeful, strategic silence can mean the difference between mediocre outcomes and extraordinary results in our meetings and professional interactions.
If we can overcome the aversion to awkward silence by realizing the power it holds to benefit us when properly deployed, we can transform sub-par, obligatory collaborations into rich, multi-dimensional group chemistry.
These short pieces deconstruct our common social fears around silence, and offer simple methods for putting silence to work for you.
Why Brilliant Minds Like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence
“When it comes to answering challenging questions, you might be tempted to just spit out anything, even if doesn’t make much sense. Or, you might say what you think the other person wants to hear instead of what you truly believe.
But is that what you really want? Or would you prefer to take some seconds to pause, to think things through, and then to respond in a way you’re proud of later?”
The Science Behind Why Awkward Silence Works
“But even though four seconds may not feel like much, in a group when nobody says anything for a few vital seconds, it can feel like a painfully long eternity. And that is precisely why it works.
Somebody wants to break that silence because of the social anxiety that silence causes. As long as it isn’t you breaking that silence and filling in the blanks for someone else, that silence becomes critical because it forces people to reflect longer and more deeply.”
Have a great weekend!
Secret Weapon Leader Team