Module 66 - The Power of Silence
Personal Development, Leadership, Motivation Blog Series
Difference ways in which we communicate
If someone you know can hardly ever stay quiet, and instead is always talking about something, telling stories, jokes, giving suggestions, there’s usually nothing that remains unsaid or private. You typically know everything that this person would say or what they think before they even open their mouth, because, you have already have heard and know all of their opinions, since you’ve heard them before. So, there’s no secret, no mystery, nothing more that you want to uncover through conversation. You also know that as soon as this person begins speaking there’s no stopping them, and actually you don’t even need to ask, because they will tell you what they want to say, whether you are ready or want to hear it.
And then there are people who are patiently waiting, going through their thoughts, formulating them, removing unnecessary fluff, and only if they are asked for an opinion, that s when they share their point of view on a specific topic.
Communication preferences and behavioral styles
Big part that plays a role in which one of these groups you may fall into are the behavioral styles that we naturally gravitate towards throughout the course of our lives. Of course, there are more than just two behavioral and communication styles that exist, however, understanding what may drive one person to speak all the time, while another to remain quiet and reserved could be the starting point in creating productive and positive working, business, or even personal relationships with someone who does not respond to daily interactions the same way you do
Understanding individual communication preferences
Our brains are all wired differently, therefore, we all think and digest information differently. Also, we respond differently to the information received. Some of us who are more direct and expressive may respond immediately, or start the conversation with the group because that is what we prefer, enjoy, and comfortable with – to be in the driver’s seat and have the spotlight shining on us all the time. However, some of us prefer to remain quiet and reserved and are very selective of who we let into our mini world. We may not respond right away because we simply need more time to think and digest the information. So, understanding individual communication preferences and behavior styles plays a very big role in creating environment of trust and mutual respect.
Cultural upbringing component in communication
The other component that plays a big part in how we communicate and interact with others comes from our cultural upbringing. In some cultures, it may not be common to speak before you are asked to do so. However, in other cultures speaking freely and openly may be encouraged and expected. Therefore, it is important to understand and respect another person’s preferences and how they prefer to communicate, versus putting them in situation where they feel out of place and uncomfortable, which typically does not encourage healthy communication and relationship building.
Silence can be very powerful
As strange as it may sound but silence can be very powerful tool in any environment and setting, whether it is negotiations, delegation, management, or being introduced to a new group of people in the new environment. Listening to another person without interrupting, while taking mental or written notes could be a sign or respect and strong character. Don’t feel that you always must say something when you believe that remaining silent would be more beneficial for all parties involved, especially if by you remaining silent can help to de-escalate a conflict or and to move conversation further towards a more positive and mutually beneficial outcome. Often, we say things that we do not always mean, words that may be out of place, or words that do not contribute any value. What’s important to remember is that it is very difficult to take something back that you have said and didn’t mean without any negative consequences. Words have power, so choose your words and when to use them carefully. As Mandy Hale said: “Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes, the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.”
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