silence does not (always) mean agreement

2021-07-28

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~1 min read

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114 words

When it comes to running a meeting, silence is often viewed as agreement. That’s not often the case. In fact, in my experience, silence only means agreement when there’s trust among all of the participants. Without trust, participants may not feel safe to voice their unease with an idea.

This HBR article by Bob Frisch and Cary Greene, “Before a Meeting, Tell Your Team That Silence Denotes Agreement” discusses the topic in greater detail. The main suggestion for managers is to call out that “silence means agreement” to draw their reluctance out into public for examination. While I’m sure this helps, I doubt it can overcome a lack of trust in the long run.


Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!