Do you know those moments when you are in a conversation, and things go quiet? That awkward silence can have people squirming.
Do you laugh a little and make a joke about the awkward silence? Do you say something to escape the uncomfortable feeling in the silence?
You might be amazed by what you hear when you let silence fill a room.
The quiet gives you space for listening to understand, rather than listening to respond. Silence gives people time to process a conversation. The spaciousness of quiet allows different ideas to enter through the space.
Here is a simple tactic I used to increase my comfort with silence. When a conversation goes quiet, and nothing seems to be moving, I slowly and silently count to ten in my head.
Only once I hit ten would I start talking again. That is, of course, assuming the other person didn’t start talking first.
“Allowing for silence is not hard. Not filling the silence is the hard part.”
You’ve got this.