Ep41: The Sound of Silence

30 minutes

Knowing when to show up is an art form all its own. Ever found yourself saying more than you should, just to fill the silence?

This episode is all about knowing when to stop talking, and when to let a lack of talking enrich the conversation. If you’ve ever found yourself oversharing, or failed to get someone really talking, it’s time to embrace the silence.

Why is that important for business?

We spend a lot of time on this podcast discussing how to frame a conversation, but it is just as important to discuss when to end a conversation. Knowing when to shut up is an art form all its own. There is an impulse to fill the silence sometimes but understanding what not to say and when to stop saying anything at all is sometimes more important than planning what you are going to say.

Especially when you are working with a client, beware of the point where you’re doing all the digging, and hand them the shovel. You need to lean into silence. Allowing someone else to discover something, rather than telling them, creates more profound learning.

Silence is especially huge for sales. It’s not true unless they say it.

Silence makes people uncomfortable, and we often try to fill space mentally just as much as verbally. If we don’t know the details of a story, we’ll try to make up our own narrative. Externally, we feel social pressure to have no silence, so we end up filling space with information we maybe shouldn’t be sharing.

It is helpful to walk into a meeting with a clear agenda and a clear mission of what you want to accomplish. If not, you don’t know when the mission is completed, and you just keep going.  Oversharing can be a lack of clear understanding of what you need from this meeting.

Transparency is important, but you don’t have to be transparent about everything, at all times, with all people. It has a time and a place.

How do you define where the finish line for a sentence, a conversation, a meeting is? When are we done? When does this get a bow on it? How do you be more clear on what’s enough?

What story do you want to tell?

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