Silence at work

January 21, 2007

Funny how cyberspace is no different to real life when it comes to silence. In cyberspace silence is often construed as absence – if I don’t post then perhaps I don’t exist? I, like many other bloggers, rush in to explain the absence, to remind my readers that I’m still here, to reassure myself that I’m still here.
Life offline is no different…silence can be persecutory. It’s invariably construed as “absence” as “not paying attention” or as some kind of negative…yet offline I love silence. I feel more connected when I have the space and time to reflect and more often than not I do that on my own or in a way that might look like I’m “not there”.
I wonder what the world of work would look like if we built in more silence, more reflection and more time to be and to think rather than the busyness of constantly doing?

2 People reacted on this

  1. What I find interesting is the fact that silence is always construed as meaning something: it’s never just silence! It’s either “the silent treatment” or a sign of indifference or an indication of absence. It’s seldom ever allowed to be simply silence.
    One thing that I loved about living in a Zen Center was the fact that other residents understood silence: after all, Zen is all about practicing silence. I’d often pick a day & spend it in silence, as did other residents…and my house-mates knew that if they walked up to you & you responded by holding your hands in “prayer position” in front of you, you were observing silence, and that was okay. Now that I live on my own, I can & do spend days in unintential silence, but that intentional and shared silence was incredibly rich. It’s very supportive to have other folks allow you the space for silence. It’s like a kind of hospitality.

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