Haupz Blog

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Silence in Meetings

2021-12-05 — Michael Haupt

The key point in this piece on silence in meetings is that silence has value, and should be used. It's a very common situation - I bet we've all observed it at least once - that meeting participants hasten to make their point, people will constantly talk over each other, eager to air (not: share) their views - there isn't enough listening in many meetings, and not enough time to process. It's ironic because meetings are supposed to be productive.

I'm writing this from the perspective of an introvert, I'm not very good at processing lots of input on the spot. I need time for that. Your mileage may vary, considerably so. Still, creating and sustaining a work environment where leveraging everyone's capabilities is an actively pursued possibility is an act of inclusion. Where there is inclusion, diversity will follow (here: diversity of thought and insight), and that's supposedly a Good Thing, right?

The article makes many excellent suggestions of a very practical nature, and I can relate to many of them. I particularly like the one where the usual take on silence as an expression of agreement is turned around. Requiring everyone to actively express consent rather than dissent is a beautiful pattern to bring out all the opinions in the room, even from those who speak up reluctantly. (I've tried it. It works.)

Dare more silence!

Tags: work