You can hear, and say much in silence. Our worlds are so full. We always have input. Every second is filled with TV, the internet, social media, the list is never ending. We are conditioned to feel that our world must be this way.
But, sometimes it is good to be quiet, listen, wait.
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
I was recently an observer in a negotiation session. On one side of the table was a master, across from him a novice. The novice spoke constantly, asking and answering his questions. The master would make a point, then wait, not very long, for the novice would immediately start speaking again. The master had the novice handing him everything he wanted, and more.
When you get the chance, observe a really good speaker. Observe how they use silence. She will make a point, then step back and wait, letting her point sink in. Silence in speech conveys intelligence and mastery of subject.
When we are in negotiations, or speaking in front of an audience, 5 seconds seems like an eternity. Our minds race. We are thinking about a multitude of things at the same time. But, to everyone else 5 seconds of silence is a chance their minds to absorb what was just said. Or, in negotiations, silence is a chance to make decisions, possibly to concede points.
Silence is uncomfortable. We must learn to be comfortable with it.Share with your social networks