Silence. One of the most powerful communication skills we can develop. It is the hallmark of charismatic people and strong leaders. Professional salespeople have known this for years, with silence being the magic ingredient to closing sales.
The next time you’re in a meeting, watch the other people in the room. Look for the individual who is clearly engaged and paying attention, but remaining silent. When he (she) does speak, you’ll be astounded at how much weight his opinion carries.
I think we all know how valuable silence is, but most of us really aren’t very good at it. Let’s face it, we have opinions we think people need to hear, observations we’re burning to share, and people who need to be enlightened with our perspectives on the world. The unfortunate truth, though, is that most people aren’t nearly as interested in hearing what we have to say as we would like them to be.
You’re better off as a silent observer, listening, watching & learning. You’ll be amazed at how people begin to perceive you.
[This is from the Archive Project – where we are attempting to get 10 years of Winning at Work on the web! Original publication date: 18 May, 2005]
Shaun Belding is CEO of The Belding Group and has been consulting and speaking on customer experience, employee engagement and workplace performance for 24 years