What type of silence kills?

by | Mar 11, 2013 | Uncategorised

Last week we looked at the first type of silence that can literally kill people, or at very least kill morale – Fear of punishment or harsh consequences. Where have you noticed this happening? What steps have you taken to overcome it? What steps do you still need to take to open up communication? Now that you have tackled the first dangerous type of silence, let’s explore the second…

Deadly silence (#2)

Silence is unhealthy and even deadly when we don’t speak up because we:

1. Doubt ourselves. This happened in the blood type mismatch tragedy at Duke University Medical Centre. A person in authority behaved in a way that the support staff thought was risky but no-one said anything because they thought they might be wrong or might not have all the details. Rather than risking a moment of foolishness, they allowed a young girl to lose her life. Where do you notice this happening? Identify it so you can…

2. Combat self doubt. Encourage people to challenge you and make it part of the norm for people to give feedback to one another. To create a new culture, you will likely need to be the example and risk sticking your neck out and ask for feedback regularly – do not expect people to start talking up just because you said they should. People learn better from what they see – so be an example. Developing the habit of speaking out will ensure that the fear of saying something ‘stupid’ is minimised. To achieve this, it’s critical that feedback is valued and people are not ridiculed if they do make a mistake or ask the ‘stupid’ question. Changing a culture takes time, keep at it and you can…

“be the difference that makes the difference




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’