Archive - October 2020

The deafening sound of silence

Silence can denote a holding back from what needs to be pointed out or challenged, a reluctance to speak about one’s own or others’ mental health challenges, or not enquiring into experience of racial difference, which can put at risk respectful connection in a relationship – and at its worst, can create a gulf. In some circumstances silence has a cost which is greater than the benefit. The danger of silence, when people don’t use their voices to admit mistakes, question the status quo, ask questions or offer ideas, is that the thinking power of a team is diminished. When people’s mental health is in play they may continue in silence, unsupported, while their condition deteriorates, corroding their wellbeing. When we fail to enter into conversation about, or to explicitly recognise racial difference, we fail to recognise, respect and acknowledge the individual. A climate of psychological safety enables inappropriate silence to be transformed into the release of rich and fertile thinking.

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