Re: Using Silence in Meetings LO2885

Richard Karash (
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 21:54:55 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO2821 --

On Thu, 14 Sep 1995, Richard Karash wrote:

> On Mon, 11 Sep 1995 wrote:
> > BTW has anyone used extended periods of silence as a way to open a
> > meeting? What were the contexts and what were the outcomes?
> Here's another example (almost):
> Way long ago, when my daughter was in nursery school, we enjoyed a
> particularly skilled teacher.
> One of her tricks was to avoid raising her voice above the general din
> that a group of 3-year olds can make. She said, "I speak quietly; they
> have to slow down and quiet down themselves to hear me." This was
> wonderfully effective.

I'll followup my own post with a new insight, but bear with me:

Dawna Markova and Andy Bryner introduced me to the "Butterfly on Wrist"
Aikedo (sp?) exercise this weekend.

One person makes a fist, straight arm, very strong and stiff. Second
person tries to move the arm by force. OK, it's hard to move the arm.

Then, second person touches the stiffened arm very lightly, as lightly as
a butterfly landing on the wrist. Being sensitive, very sensitive to the
slightest motions of the stiff arm, and there are alway some motions, you
gently encourage the motions you want and discourage the others. The
sensation is amazing. With a little practice you can move the other
person's arm with ease, and the feeling when you've "got it" is

So, the moral for the use of silence in the nursery school setting: I can
now see something that I missed before. The teacher must have been
sensitive to the natural rhythms of the kids conversations to succeed
with her method. Just talking quietly in itself wouldn't do the job. It's
the reading of the room and taking the natural energy, I think, that does
the job.

         Richard Karash ("Rick") |  <>
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