When I watch a good drama, for me, the most moving scenes are those where a conversation is held in silence; expressive eyes, a turn of the head, a mouth softened or hardened, a gesture. These are communications, yes, but the silence says more.
Observing silence is a good thing. Interpreting silence may not be.
I have a friend. She is lovely. She has been in my life a long time. What I know about her is that she has opinions. She does not always give them. While I listen to what she is expressing verbally, I also listen to what she is not expressing.
I do not assume that I know the contents of her unexpressed. When I have a question, I ask. Before I ask, I gauge if the timing is right. I don’t want to invade her with my questioning. I only want to have a gentle inquiry with her because I want our friendship to deepen as a consequence of my inquiry. I want to know her more and I never want her to feel less.
Speaking into silence is an art. It is yet another elevated communication skill. The leader who does not get a reaction to a suggested new policy may want to penetrate the silence. This is delicate. Taking a swan dive into the silence requires elegance. A plunge into the silence is exactly that; a plunge, a push. An inquiry that is thought out and executed with style may reveal a surprising acceptance vs. an assumed disapproval.
Silence is a language. It speaks. Having a conversation with silence creates a whole new world of possibility. It requires a new code of ethics and patience. It supports us being very grown up; ego-less, modest and forthright.
Listen to the silence. Respect the silence. Gently, carefully, probe beneath the surface to see what is underneath and experience the lesson that is available to you.
There is a voice beneath the silence. It wants to be heard.
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