For the month of September, the blog post topics focused on a pair of skill sets that work brilliantly together – Silence & Acknowledgment.

Both skills require you to be present and observant, and when you’re dialed in on both, your ability to spread the good word to your peers increases exponentially.

Here are some highlights from the month…

SILENCE IS YOUR SECRET

Silence can be as a powerful communication skill.

When silence is utilized appropriately, it provides a safe container that allows others to explore things on a deeper level.

I’ll often utilize silence in my coaching practice, as it’s a great way to give the other person time to reflect on their thoughts and feelings.

In many respects, it also indirectly encourages people to keep talking – silence is uncomfortable; and oftentimes, people feel inclined to fill the empty space with more words. 🙂

The cool thing is that you don’t have to be a therapist, or a coach, to use silence as an effective communication skill. In fact, it’s pretty easy to do…..

Don’t say anything…

See what happens.

It’s important that you enter into the conversation from a place of neutrality, and check yourself for any judgements that come to the surface; otherwise, you’ll bring a different type of energy to the process, and it most likely won’t be very effective.

CAN YOU BE NEUTRAL?

ALL of your experiences have influenced you on some level and most likely, created patterns and belief systems that have shaped you for who you are today.

This is a beautiful thing…..

AND, these experiences can be a huge distraction when considering how to best support someone going through a challenging situation, or manage a team.

If you bring your own experiences to the table when assisting others through a challenging process, a number of things can happen…

You start to give advice

You take sides

You enter into the conversation with your own agenda.

You draw hard lines in the sand between right and wrong

Being a neutral observer is one of the most powerful gifts that you can give someone in supporting them through their own process…In doing so…

You don’t give advice

You don’t take sides

You leave your agenda behind

You refrain from bringing in your own beliefs regarding “rights” and “wrongs”.

I’ve found that the most impactful managers, executives and business owners tend to be really good at staying neutral, especially in challenging situations.

THIS ACTION BUILDS TRUST

There are things that you can do that will immediately instill a sense of trust in another person.

A few months ago, I was leading a group coaching call with a team of engineers and one of the team members shared something that has stuck with me ever since.

The discussions for that particular day focused on the subjects of “listening” and “acknowledgment”.

During the call, I asked them to share a positive work experience of giving or receiving acknowledgment.

A guy told the story of how he was working with a team on a big project that contained a lot of moving pieces.

He was immersed in many facets of the project and feeling stressed; however, quickly learned how the power of acknowledging his team members would enable him to free up his time and focus on the big picture.

He shared the following with the group, “I took a few seconds to tell each individual that they were doing a great job, and after I did this, didn’t have to look over their shoulders anymore”.

BOOM!

The simple action of acknowledging each individual had three major consequences:

1. He empowered his team members
2. He surrendered into the process and relinquished control
3. He built trust

Integrating silence and acknowledgement into your daily interactions with others will be important when considering the newsletter topics for the upcoming months, which will focus on influencing individuals and teams.