People choose to be silent for many reasons and their silence is destroying customer experience, team growth and organisational development. Choosing not to address situations, not to share experiences and not to speak up in meetings is the pathway that a large percentage of employees take.
The path of least resistance benefits no one and while the silent people refer to themselves as peace keepers they are anything but this. Silence is not peace keeping. Choosing silence when there is a problem, issue or conflict that needs to be addressed is sabotage. It's a quiet version of sabotage and often goes unnoticed but it is sabotage all the same. It is choosing on purpose to avoid the necessary communication required to address something that needs to be improved.
People make this choice for the following reasons.
- they lack the personal confidence to speak up
- they have spoken up in the past and felt unheard
- they have observed others who spoke up who were shot down
- they believe those above them do not want to hear from them
- they lack trust in their team to handle the conversation
- they don't understand the consequences of their silence
Organisations can reduce the silence by taking proactive steps to build teams and send clear and regular messages to their employees about the importance of open, clear, honest and direct feedback that goes in all directions.
The goal of any organisation is to grow, and growth regularly happens through difficult conversations where uncomfortable information is shared. The discomfort factor can be reduced through the use of tools that help individuals to understand themselves and others. With self and other understanding individuals gain more confidence to approach colleagues to have courageous conversations when they are required. Professional development and 1-1 coaching can help to build courage as everyone learns how to give and take feedback effectively.
BSc.psychology, Diploma Professional Coaching, Master Trainer
Marina is a coach, professional development expert, and facilitator who specialises in helping people develop themselves so they can be the best version of themselves and conduct their personal and professional lives more effectively.
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