The Wisdom of Silence
It was just a TV show depicting, but the country in a major crisis, the possibility of the end of the world as they knew it.
As expected the crisis was averted, after all, it was just a TV show.
Here is the scene, the President of the United States was meeting with the highest officials in his cabinet. The team was hashing out all the possible solutions, but he sat in silence.
He didn't speak a word. You could see in his expression he was in deep thought, and had something to say, but he was silent.
It wasn’t until his team had finished dissecting the issues and all the disastrous possibilities that he spoke.
As this scene played out it reminded me of what a mentor of mine said to me years ago:
“When the leader speaks first it stops others from speaking.”
He went on to explain, "a team will hold back their own ideas if the leader speaks first, because, they assume the leader has already made a decision on the issue.”
Usually I have an opinion on the topic being discussed in meetings I attend or lead. It would be easy for me to interject. However, I have learned to be silent in the beginning and encourage others to speak.
Quite often someone else on the team has come to the same conclusion as I. That's great, I can give them credit for the idea. Just as good and maybe better are the times when an engaging discussion will produce an even better idea.
The world did not come to an end, but in the end, the TV president used his team to evaluate all the possibilities and come up with the best decision possible.