the silent mantra

Communication is an indispensable tool for a leader, but silence is a machine in a class of its own.

To avoid any loss in translation, Bjorn Soderberg (founder/ CEO of Fair Enterprise and Web Search) is quick to point out: “A leader faces various situations where he has to speak and where he has to take an action immediately.” But leaders can sometimes communicate without words with confidence, elegance and stance.  Most often leaders go on and on about why the decision they made is good and why everyone should support it, but at times they forget how rewarding it is to shut up and listen to others for once. The main idea of being an entrepreneur is to come up with something new, something that helps solve a problem and Bjorn believes that it all starts with listening.

1. Less talk more work
Setting oneself as a positive example is more effective than stating a positive statement because we know action speaks louder than words. It is a prototype that influences behavior as it is inspirational and enforces belief in action. Proving what you believe is rather difficult but acting on it is a lot easier and sets oneself as a positive example for others. Influence others to do something you want by acting on it yourself rather than directing them towards doing it. People do what people see. If you want to get someone do something, do it yourself first and make sure they see you doing it. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”- Confucius

2. Know when to be led
Don’t over emphasize on the ideas you provide and the decisions you make. Provide a general background and invite the group’s perspectives on it and just shut up. Let the conversation flow and watch where it goes. “A good leader isn’t someone who thinks he knows it all but someone who doesn’t know anything. People from various backgrounds work together under a same organization and such people have different skills and knowledge and an entrepreneur can learn a lot from diversified workforce.” says Bjorn. Discussion among the group will lead to new ideas and the pros and cons of those ideas supplied. Letting people present and exchange their ideas without pressure helps them work through their objections naturally. Don’t say a single word as long as the discussion is hovering around your objective; you’re gathering intelligence while the others are doing the talking. If the conversations start losing track of your desired objective, take things back on the course quickly. Slight steering corrections keep the conversation moving in the right direction.

3. They made it, they love it
People are more likely to support the implementation of a decision when they feel like they made it themselves. Letting participants derive a decision without any pressure, you’re more likely to get something much more effective than something you came up with yourself as they say two heads are always better than one. Words are powerful but there are other adroit yet subtle messages a leader sends through their actions in the workplace. Hence, every leader must build a strong awareness of non-verbal communication and use it as much as possible.

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