Using Silence in Meetings LO2764

Ernst W. Diehl (
Tue, 12 Sep 95 11:40:56 0000

David Hurst (LO2737) asks:"BTW has anyone used extended periods of silence
as a way to open a meeting? What were the contexts and what were the

I have used silence as a contribution DURING a meeting.

Context: The meeting's dialogue had changed into a heated discussion. I
stated that I needed some silence to think how to best make a
contribution. Since I had not yet used much "air-time" during the meeting,
I felt justified to ask for 30secs of silence as part of my "air-time".

Outcome: The silence was respected and brought the meeting back to a more
reflective mode.

Ernst W. Diehl
MIT Center for Organizational Learning
30 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142-1014, USA
Tel.  (617) 253-1512
Fax.  (617) 252-1998