I once worked for a manager who talked a lot. In meetings, you could almost be guaranteed that he’d do most of the talking. Then he’d complain that none of us were contributing to the conversation.

Silence is so uncomfortable that people will often fill it with words. Many years ago, I taught myself to be comfortable in silence. Every time things got quiet, I would count to ten silently in my head. In doing this, it gave space for others to speak. I rarely made it to ten.

As a leader, if you’re talking, people may stay quiet out of obligation. Imagine what you’re not learning if your team isn’t talking.

There’s a lot to learn in silence. Give it a try.

You’ve got this.

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