Wednesday, April 21, 2010

'Lessons from the 'mute' button"

- or -

"The Value in Breaking Your Communication Impulses"

Do you use the mute button on your phone? Have you ever forgotten it's on? I have - and here's what it's taught me.

Over the many times (yep - I learn slowly) I've done this:
  • I've learned that the conversation can actually go on without the idea that I wanted to add at that very moment. And often the conversation is improved by the fact that I did not chime in. It takes unexpected turns and uncovers unanticipated information.

  • I've learned that communication benefits SO much by allowing a couple of seconds of silence. The person with whom I'm speaking has valuable things to add. When they feel free to do this they become more invested in the conversation and in the relationship.

  • Sometimes the silence is awkward. Everyone is naturally compelled to fill the void - which can make what comes out all the more spontaneous and authentic.
In today's world of home offices and virtual work relationships, these lessons are well heeded.

Now, if only I can employ them consciously - not just by accident.
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