Silence management: one of the key skills in coaching
This is how intentional silence can be used in coaching processes and leadership.
Human communication is much more than sending messages in the form of words and phrases in written or spoken form. If it were, silence would be seen as something to avoid, a synonym for wasted potential in which no idea or emotion is conveyed... but the reality is far from that.
That is why in this article we are going to focus on how intentional silence can be used in coaching and leadership processes, both in the context of organizations and in the context of the public sector.In this article, we will focus on how intentional silence can be used in coaching and leadership processes, both in the context of organizations and companies as well as in personal and more informal interactions.
What does intentional silence consist of?
As its name suggests, the intentional silence is a way of using pauses in speech that aims to make silence a communicative element.. Therefore, it is a resource that can be used in face-to-face conversations with an interlocutor and also in presentations in front of an audience.
The idea behind the concept of intentional silence is that face-to-face communication is much more than the transmission of textual information (i.e. that which can be reduced to letters, words and phrases).
It is no secret that much of the potential available to human beings to express ideas and emotions consists of nonverbal communication, and in fact, the use of verbal communication is subsequent to the former. In a way, nonverbal elements are not limited to being a simple complement to words, but are just as important, if not more so. Y the way in which we express ourselves through silence is one of those elements of nonverbal language..
Of course, it is one thing for moments of silence to arise in a conversation, and it is another thing for there to be an objective in the use of silence. In fact, one of the characteristics of those who are able to lead teams in face-to-face interaction is that they know how to use silence to their advantage. Let's see why.
Utilities of intentional silence in coaching and leadership.
In coaching and leadership roles, communication is always a key aspect. It is as much a way to transmit ideas and train, as it is to motivate, establish values, energize teams and resolve conflicts, among other things. It is therefore not surprising that intentional silence is a versatile tool if you know how to use it well. Let's take a look at its main uses.
1. It allows to convey the emphasis on the important parts
Silence acts by giving importance to the words spoken before and after it. Therefore, it can be used to signal in a very clear way which are the key ideas that must remain engraved in the mind of the interlocutor or the audience.
2. It is an element of active listening
Active listening consists of making it known that we pay attention to what the other person is saying, and that we react to it in an emotional manner depending on the themes and concepts that emerge in the dialogue. In this sense, silence conveys the idea that what the other person is saying invites us to reflect.
Thus, on the one hand, it is another resource to build trust, and on the other, it conveys the idea that there are some ideas that we have heard from the other person that we consider important and invite us to stop and think.
3. It allows us to put "the ball in the other person's court".
Using silences to our advantage also consists of using them in a strategic way in order to invite the other person to continue talkingor to add to what we have said. In other words, it is a way of indicating that the other person will speak. And in that way, it also conveys a leadership role.
4. It is a resource to control time
Another way in which intentional silence empowers the user is that it conveys self-confidence. it conveys self-confidenceThe following is an example of how we are not afraid of the idea of remaining for a few seconds without anyone speaking, something that many people tend to avoid. It all depends on attitude; while some moments of silence can become uncomfortable moments, if we show that for us they are not, they become a sign that we are not in a hurry when it comes to presenting our ideas.
5. It is a versatile tool in the use of humor.
Finally, intentional silence can also be used as a humorous resource. This is so because humor is often based on generating an expectation about what is going to be said next and creating moments of complicity without the need to say things directly.. Incorporating humorous nuances to communication can be very useful to generate a relaxed communicative climate and demonstrate versatility in the dynamization of teams, going beyond the protocol and formal.
Are you interested in training in coaching?
If you want to train in coaching, you can do it through the courses organized by European School of Coaching and designed for professionals and companies.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)