The most powerful behaviour of a leader, Silence!
USE SILENCE AS A LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOUR | Nick’s Daily Blog | 9th March 2023.
With the sound of silence comes a pause that very few can do well. Too keen to speak, too keen to have their own voice heard, too keen to shut someone down, too immature to allow others the air-time. Great leaders are silent, they allow calm to flow around them and their silence isn’t a sign that they are asleep at the wheel they are just being present (in the moment).
As an executive coach I get pretty tired when I observe leaders who like the sound of their own voice, have you ever sat in a room only to hear the sound of one person’s voice – how does that make you feel.
Great leaders who have matured and developed their listening skills are more capable of communicating, why, because they are listening to what is actually being said!.
In Carl Newports book Deep Work he writes a great deal towards turning down all distractions and listening. It’s a behaviour that many of us could really polish up on. As a child growing up my granddad would say Nick, two ears and one mouth. What he was encouraging me to do was to listen deeply to what was being said, discussed or shared. Thanks for that grandad I owe you one:) Silence should not be seen as a sign of weakness to me it’s very much a behaviour that I observe is missing from most leaders toolbox. Too quick to speak, too fast to want to rush onto something else, too self important. Slow down and allow silence to prevail.
Here are some things to consider over the next week.
- observe yourself in your meetings and note down or get someone else to time;
- How much time are you speaking and how much time you are listening.
- When you are with your manager do the same exercise!
- When you are with friends or family do the same exercise!
- What have you noticed when you review your results?
- What are you going to stop doing/start doing now?
- How are you going to maintain a silence mindset?
Take a deep breath before you intent to speak and ask yourself – ‘is what I am about to say going to make a difference? Yes or No if No….shut up
At the beginning of each one-one-one with your team start the meeting with a minute silence maybe just reflect on the purpose of that meeting and why you are both in that meeting. See if your 1-on-1s are not more productive!
I had the pleasure of meeting a monk and we discussed the days, months and even years that some monks just sit and operate in silence. It’s very interesting and one we should all try to adopt. Living in such a noisy world sometimes silence is the best option.
I’m deeply interested to hear how from you if you have or are leading a group of yes people and you want to shift that environment forwards. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When we face our fears we typically grow, when we allow fears to dictate our action things start to stall. Don’t let that inner voice hold you back – get evidence!
Enjoy the art of learning and keep sharing your wisdom with others. The world needs you and we will all be better of for it
nickroud.com | global award winning leadership coach | +6421375630