I am an external processor. It's not uncommon to hear me say - “I’m just thinking out loud here."
This week’s challenge, embrace the power of silence, was difficult and exciting at the same time.
Often, I wish I would keep certain thoughts to myself and listen more to the differing opinions that surround me. I find myself filling every void of silence with my internal thinking.
I find this to be the biggest challenge in group discussions or team meetings. Nothing gets my brain moving faster than the energy of a collective.
So that was my focus this week: to try and embrace the power of silence in team and group discussions.
How did I do?
I started the week off not really embracing silence at all. At our group meeting on Monday, I found myself talking to fill the void a lot of the time. However, I did notice that I was doing it – that’s a big step for me.
When there was a lull toward the end of the meeting, instead of saying what was going through my head, I bit my lip and continued to ponder the conversation.
The group moved on, and no more was said about the previous subject. Honestly, nothing else needed to be. The last person to speak really summed it up well.
That brief moment provided a major shift for me.
The rest of the week followed a similar pattern. In the beginning of every meeting, I did not give any room for silence. I would then think back to the challenge, take a breath, and try to embrace silence again.
Reflecting on this, I wasn't able to let silence do the heavy lifting for any one full conversation this week. However, I’m proud that I was able to recognize moments when it would serve my conversations better.
Like all the challenges for me so far, I am a work in progress!
How did you do?