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.