THE SILENT PARTNER
Through the years I’ve had the privilege of falling in love with people who understand the economy of words. In fact, I was, as a child, a very silent and insecure individual not sure that anything I said was of value to the world.
Don’t you often find yourself stuck, unable to be creative enough to pick the right topic to discuss, with those of few words?
I’ve come across many in the role play workspace, who have had similar challenges. Not being able to get answers from colleagues on various matters ranging from a basic need to form a connection, a commitment to deadlines, or luring them out of their shell to put forward an idea, that they’ve had a burning desire to share.
Listening to hear
What I have found, is that when I really listen to what a partner is willing to spend his quota of words on…a real point of connection can be made, and an idea of their real interests can be assessed. This is true in the work environment too. In light of the economy and efficiency of words, EVERY SINGLE WORD becomes important. Their attitude towards the subject at hand, their interest and what they’re willing to engage on…are all locked into those words…and then we find, we have a hook!
Ask the question
The next step is to ask an open question…not a leading one…an open one. Which may lead to…silence. Hold steady, don’t give in to filling the space with sound. Hold steady. Eventually it will start getting really uncomfortable. In the end, if you understand the importance of silence at this point, your partner, colleague, person in customer service, direct report will answer. Albeit in their own time, after much deep thought and analysis. Sweet victory is yours.
We have all been blessed with different ways of being, some of us have verbal diarrhea, and some not. We can all benefit from adapting to the communication style needed to form a connection with various people. I have found that the silent partner can be rather challenging, however, I have chosen to not let my words get in the way!