Now for Something Dramatic: Listening to Nothing

Posted Friday, October 30, 2015



You took the course. You got the T-shirt. Just like me, somewhere along the way, someone taught you how to listen. Active Listening 101, Communication Skills or The Three Levels of Listening. We implemented the skills and voila, it worked. People felt heard. Communication improved.

We missed a step though.

No one taught us how to listen to nothing. How to listen when there are no words. How to listen to what isn’t being said. How to listen to our third, fourth and fiftieth thoughts. How to listen to silence.

Imagine what might be possible here. What could we discover about ourselves if we went 24 hours in silence; if we cut out as much noise as possible and experienced the emptiness of no sound? Imagine what you might notice if you and your family chose to deny yourselves words of any sort for a family meal. Think about a day at the office where you intentionally keep your mouth closed at all times. What would show up for you? What shows up as you even contemplate it?


The Discipline of Silence is maybe the most powerful discipline because it is so counter-cultural, so different than the world that we all live and breath in. I live downtown Chicago. I interact with sound and people for a living. I get it. Silence is hard. Silence requires effort.

It’s worth it.

I have no idea what you will discover in your moments of silence. I’m pretty sure you won’t discover whatever “it” is in the full-on hustle and bustle of this life. As Tony Robbins says, “You have to try something different in order to get something different.”

Will you try one of these challenges in November?
  • Plan a family meal where no one speaks. No devices. No TV. No Radio (even internet radio).
  • Don’t talk for an entire work-day. 
  • Choose a non-working day and go 8 hours in silence somewhere, alone.
  • Sign up for a silent retreat for a weekend or even a week.

If you want to learn more and experience deep conversations with a few other people on the journey, join me next Tuesday, November 3rd for my free webinar on The Discipline of Silence.




Check out our last 6 eNewsletters:

November 4, 2016--Crossing the Continental Divide (Both Literally and Metaphorically)


May 13, 2016-Are You Embracing Your Goo?

April 6, 2016--Micromanagement is Good Management


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