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Silence Can Solve Problems That Words Cannot

Silence Can Solve Problems That Words Cannot

Silence. A seldom used means of communication. Those who have made it big in life have always known the importance of silence, and how it packs nuclear power when used in the right proportion and in the right situation.

Ever tried keeping quiet in the middle of a fight? Your silence can solve problems that you are trying to solve with the verbal battle. You can create a place for you in someone’s heart if you really know how to be quiet. In a professional world, your silence and your ability to listen can make you far more confident and credible. Whether it’s to improve your life personally or professionally, silence can prove to be an excellent problem-solver in ways that words sometimes cannot be.

Building Relationships

Madeline and Stewart have been married for the last ten years. Love and grievances have commingled in their relationship, leading to occasional fights. They almost always know what the other person is going to say, so they presume each other’s reactions and lash out accordingly. What happens then? No one listens. They both talk, and walk out frustrated.

Stewart considered a change in this routine. He decided to let Madeline speak and to be silent, to intently listen to her. Sure, there were many times where he wanted to lash out, but instead he consciously stayed quiet. He tried to learn and understand what she was mad about. Just for one day.

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It took a lot of patience but certain things came to him as a surprise. There were many things that actually made sense! So, the next time a disagreement arose, he consciously corrected himself where he felt justified. From there, the relationship changed, Madeline noticed changes in him and felt the urge to change for him. The magic of silence, even after ten years, made a beautiful transformation possible for them and their relationship.

Silence can solve problems in a multitude of other ways in relationships. Here are some of the most common issues that relationships are met with and how to use silence to repair them:

  1. If your best friend is rude to you, ask him or her why, and then be silent and listen while keeping an open mind.
  2. As a parent, you are not getting through to your teenage child. Stop preaching. Be silent and listen to your kid. Your child may surprise you with his or her insights.
  3. Your quiet girlfriend or boyfriend might have things to tell you that you will hear only if you stop talking and create the space for their words to come into play.

Be silent and spend time with yourself. There are things that you probably need to tell yourself but they often get lost in the humdrum of life.Try it once. Even one day can make a difference. Your silence can solve problems that you might have in your relationship with other people or your relationship with yourself that have been archived for years and decades.

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Silence can solve problems

    The Professional World – Inducing Deliberate Silence

    Inducing silence is a technique often used by killer negotiators. Most conversationalists and deal-makers know this trick.[1] Below we illustrate how silence can solve problems in the professional world.

    Let’s say you need to convince your boss on a slightly unfair proposal. You walk into your boss’ office with a proposal to extend the Christmas holidays by two days for all members on staff. Sure enough, he or she outright refuses. Potential reasons? It might not be in their power, they might have some urgent job to complete before the holidays, or worse, they might not care much about his people.

    Scenario A

    Let’s say you assume that he does not care for his people. You start speaking right away, trying to explain how desperately people need the additional days, given the pressure of the last quarter. Well, your boss knows that and the reason for his refusal is grave. What happens then? An obvious confrontation – passive or aggressive. Finally, you walk out feeling disgusted and, most importantly, having failed to convince him or her of what you initially wanted for you and your coworkers.

    Scenario B

    Let’s say you have prepared two arrows in your quiver – two great proposals that can convince him. However, you do not use them right away. They will come out later. Rather, instead of saying anything, you induce deliberate silence. You let your boss break the silence while giving you relevant information. “You don’t understand”, they say, “There is a lot of work pressure right now. We cannot let people leave before the holidays. There are targets to fulfill!”

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    You are now narrowing down potential reasons and getting closer to the real reason. They have told you that the favor can’t be granted because of deadlines not being met. With a better idea of the overall problem, you can delve deeper. Ask them: “Which projects are you worried about?” When they give an explanation, you will know which arrow to use. Tell them a logical and acceptable way out. So you can propose staying back late and completing the project well before the deadline, and ask if he or she is okay with that solution. They are still not convinced. Being in two minds now, they challenge you, indicating that might not work. You can use your best arrow to seal the deal now! You counter by offering to stay back and close the job before you leave at any cost, keeping back whoever is needed, well before the holidays.

    See what you did there?

    Scenario B was much more successful, largely, in part, because of inducing silence. You expected resistance, but you did not presume anything. You did not lash out, rather you used silence to your advantage. You understood the problem and worked around it. In the end, you placed a solution that benefits everyone in the bargain – a fair solution that also made sense to your boss, and that is why they accepted it.

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    Silence can solve problems

      Silence Can Solve Problems In Multifaceted Ways

      This is not all. Silence can solve problems in several additional ways in the professional world. If you are facing an interview board and you are completely charged up and ready to answer every question, be silent, listen intently, and understand the question first. Your answers will sound professional and the board will be impressed by your poise and grip because you took time to listen and really think out the words that you say. If your colleague is instructing you over something routine that you have done a number of times and you do not need instructions to, do not be impatient, just listen. You might find new information and new ways to do things.

      Silence can solve problems if you simply know how to listen and keep an open mind. As the master of the ship, I often end up giving specific instructions to my juniors. At the end, however, I leave an open question. I ask: “Any suggestions from your end?”

      This is when I listen intently and wait for new information. You would be surprised at all the ways my juniors have surprised me with their insight and innovative ways to do things.

      This is how silence can solve problems, which is far from anything words can do by themselves. A negotiator needs to build a bond with the person on the other side and show them a way that makes sense to the other person as well.

      Featured photo credit: The Conscious Process via theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com

      Reference

      [1] The Soul Creator: Killer Negotiator: Tap the right emotions

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      Last Updated on November 26, 2020

      How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

      How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

      As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

      “Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

      The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

      5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

      Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

      Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

      1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

      Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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      2. Show Compassion

      If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

      3. Communicate Regularly

      Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

      Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

      4. Ask for Feedback

      Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

      If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

      5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

      Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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      How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

      Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

      Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

      According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

      You Can Find Good Help

      It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

      Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

      Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

      Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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      You Pull Together as a Team

      Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

      Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

      Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

      Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

      Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

      Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

      Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

      Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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      Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

      Your Career Shines Bright

      Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

      Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

      When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

      Final Thoughts

      At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

      At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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      Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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