If you spend any time with me at all you will figure out that I am a talker, a story teller, that I process things by talking. I am the typical extrovert who talks to learn, share and expand my world. All that talking can cause problems. Not everyone responds in words, some people need silence more than they want to hear words. So my talking prevents them from being able to process or think.
As I matured I figured all this out. I realized sometimes I used words to fill in the gaps of silence because the absence of words made me uncomfortable. Everything in my world changed when I became comfortable with silence. When I learned how to hold my tongue, to embrace quiet and listen first then speak last I was more effective, more other centric and more of a leader. Silence has become my secret weapon.
The best leaders, the best teachers, the best people we all want to be around are usually people who understand the power of silence. They think and choose their words wisely and they truly want to understand what people are talking about… which means they talk less and allow silence to do it’s job. And what is the job of silence? It’s gift is allowing word based people time to slow down to give other people time to process, and it gives thinkers time to gather their words so they feel better prepared to speak.
No matter how you process – by talking or by thinking- silence has the power to change everything. I encourage you to embrace the awkward silence, the pregnant pause, and rest in the gifts of silence. Once you can do this your world will change for the better.