Filling the gap in a conversation is what humans do and the pattern starts before we even begin to walk. Restraining from speaking when there is silence is an effective way for us to let our customers, employees and inner circle say more. It is uncomfortable at first, but the payback is that we get to appear wise beyond our years. By listening more, this might one day be true
It can be surprising to learn what a person will tell us, if only we allow them time for reflection before we fill the silence ourselves. My “ah-ha” moment occurred during a mock negotiation, with instructions to speak, then not speak again until the other party did- regardless of the length of the pause. Many of us failed after only 5-10 seconds of silence.