I’ve often said that good leaders never assume silence means that everyone is in agreement.
I still believe that. Leaders and situations can be intimidating. Some team members simply choose not to participate.
There is one caveat to this principle, however.
When a team is healthy, the leader is approachable, and team members are encouraged to participate in discussion:
Silence can be interpreted as agreement.
- The freedom to challenge is present
- The fear of retribution is absent
- The power of unity is prominent
- The spirit of cooperation is elevated
- The synergy of differences is celebrated
When you are on a healthy team, people feel freedom to speak up when needed, so if they don’t, you can often safely assume they are in agreement.
I’ll be candid, as i write this, I’m six months into leading a new team. I’m not sure we are there yet, but in the months to come, I’ll be looking to measure progress in this way.
Ask yourself this question: What does silence on the team indicate?
In that answer, if you’re honest, you may find the answer.
Are you serving on a healthy team?