Have you ever sat in silence while waiting for someone to finish his or her thought? Are you staying connected to the conversation, or are you mentally disengaged and thinking about your next Facebook update? Maybe you’re compelled to fill in the blanks with words (even grunts), or rushing the other person to finish? Or, even finishing their sentences for them!!!
What is it about staying present, not interrupting, and waiting that disrupts us? Perhaps we’re bombarded with stimulus and haven’t learned to disengage from the clutter long enough to focus on what’s in front of us? Maybe we don’t care about the topic. Maybe we’re trying to meet a deadline. Perhaps we want to disengage from it all. Lot’s of reasons for why we don’t engage, or disconnect. For now, let’s focus on the silence.
Trying not to interrupt takes practice. Have you taken it a bit further and sat in silence after someone’s thoughts are complete? It’s DIFFICULT. Give it a go. You’ll have a ‘WOW’ moment for yourself, as it’s really hard to not speak, or offer non-verbal communication.
Silence is power. Taking the time to understand the context of silence gives you great insight. You or the other person may feel embarrassed, happy, fear, sadness, denial, angry or love. The ‘what’ all depends on the context.
Silence can communicate attention when someone has strong feelings such as grief, fear or anger. Being silent in these particular scenarios shows your paying attention to them. You are of course, making eye contact, making gestures to show you’re paying attention - not just silent while you check Instagram, or add another Facebook update.
Being quiet and choosing to just ‘Be’ gives them the space and uninterrupted time to share what’s on their mind. Silence also provides the person with the opportunity to reflect and work through his or her own solution. Do keep in mind, you’re not judging or waiting for the right time to tell them your opinion, or what to do.
When to break the silence
When we realize we’re not sharing because we’re afraid. When we stay quiet to avoid any potential upset to the other person’s feelings or the relationship. It’s understandable to want to avoid friction. I get it! However, what is the cost to you - your expression? Ironically, without honest and open conversations, a relationship stays surface level. Silencing yourself keeps you from being self-expressed. It also keeps you and the other person small.
When we create the space for open conversations and active listening - silence is powerful. Sharing our thoughts in a meaningful and non-judgmental manner creates a powerful dialogue.
Coaching others to pause and BE QUIET allows them to be present and openly hear the other person. This in turn creates the safe space, where others can become self-expressed and for the magic within a conversation to occur.
Every day I help clients become better at pausing and listening while appreciating the self-expression of others. I help them be an active listener to what’s not being said as well as what is.
CREATE YOUR OWN EXTRAORDINARY BREAKTHROUGH
Discover how to embody silence and create active listening practices, so that magic happens in your life.
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