Silence can be the doorway which contains the most catalytic opportunity you have. Do not make the mistake of ignoring it.

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It can be the most welcoming, enveloping, and peaceful experience when outside standing still with snow falling soundlessly on a winter’s night. 

Silence can be the space you need to create, imagine, and renew. 

Silence can be a mechanism to contain your feelings when angry, confused, overwhelmed, or to demonstrate to someone you are disconnecting. 

Silence can be a space of relief when you have had a full day – of kids, work, concerts, events, or people. 

Silence can be a place to “gather your thoughts,” make a plan, check in with your approach and capture the moment, calling yourself to be present and awake for all that is occurring. It is a moment of transformation. 

Silence can represent a pause in what is happening, can be a method for agreeing, disagreeing and everything in between.  

Silence can be your way of containing anger, fatigue, resentment, and rage you will not allow yourself to express in that moment. 

When in groups, you cannot assume silence is agreement, yet many do. If you do, you might miss your opportunity to hear the voice of dissent, disagreement, contemplation, or another point of view which contrasts what’s occurring. It could mean agreement, but more often, does not.  

In leadership teams, too often I see a “majority rules” approach favored over taking the time for everyone to weigh in. It’s a big mistake. 

Silence can be the doorway which contains the most catalytic opportunity you have. Do not make the mistake of ignoring it. 

For more from Sue Hawkes, go to

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