The Silent Leader

The Silent Leader

How the sounds of silence can build effective teams

Like most people in the Northeast, I spent the day sequestered indoors, watching the snow fall silently, with the occasional horizontal gust blasting past my window.

For the longest time, I didn’t hear any cars or buses rambling down the street. I didn’t hear the groan of plows trying to do their jobs, or even detect the presence of screeching kids willing to go outside to brave the piercing wind.

All was quiet. And....I appreciated the peace. I felt calm. I was able to slow down the usual racing thoughts in my head. I got to let go of my never ending To Do List, and JUST BE.

It made me think that sometimes being quiet is a good thing. Even at work. What are the advantages of a little self-imposed gag order? Here are a few things that come to mind.

Empower colleagues
If you are usually the vocal team member, biting your tongue every so often allows shy colleagues a chance to express their ideas and contribute to discussions more freely.

Make a more impactful statement
If you pause before answering a question, you will convey a more thoughtful demeanor. People may pay closer attention to what your are saying because you took the time to think about your response, instead of blurting something off the top of your head.

Give yourself a break
As amazing, brilliant, persuasive and captivating as you may be, there may be times when even you are sick of the sound of your own voice.

Ease into it
Many people feel a sense of urgency, and begin speaking immediately after being introduced or being asked a question. A brief pause allows you to take a calming breath, tame jittery nerves, and gather your thoughts before talking.

Convey Confidence
When speaking, usually less is more. However, many people are uncomfortable with silence. The more they continue to ramble on, the more likey they are to stray off-topic or needlessly repeat themsleves. This unfocused prattling can cause a loss of credibility, and ultimately, confidence.

Of course, there are times when we want our voices to be heard (at work or at political rallies), but savor the opportunities for a little peace and quiet. The benefits are LOUD and CLEAR.

If you or anyone in your organization needs help communicating more effectively in the workplace, contact us at: We are happy to help!

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