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Own the Silence

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

I have encountered a few people who think it is a failing when they hesitate before responding to questions or requests. This seems most pronounced during job interviews because there is an element of performance. Come to think of it, even broadcast stations work to guard against ‘dead air.’

When it comes to human interaction this ‘dead air’ is likely alive with thought, which is why practiced coaches hold space for clients, allowing them the time to breathe, think, or process the conversation.


In such an ‘always on’ culture I recommend owning the silence in conversations and especially in interviews. My go-to phrase is ‘great question…let me think on that for a second…’ Voila! You own the silence, relieving both you and the listener of the cognitive load of either filling in the space or knowing whose turn it is to talk.


To focus at while working you can own the silence by recognizing what you need to implement in order to have the space to think. This can include turning off notifications, blocking focus time on your calendar, and even relocating yourself or offending devices to other rooms.

The key to anything when it comes to career satisfaction is that it is yours. This means it is not given, it is created, and it begins with you taking ownership.

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