What does silence do for you?
I find when I am in my office alone, I put on music to fill the silence. I sometimes find myself singing along and turning the music up little by little. I hadn’t really thought about why I do this before. It probably stems back to decades of open plan offices and putting on head phones (with or without music) to focus and prevent interruption.
My fantastic collaborator Lucy Harrison asked if I wanted to do a Silent Zoom Meeting. I had no idea what was involved but bounded in with openness and willingness to test it out.
The way we approached the Silent Zoom was by,
- Sharing at the start of the meeting what we planned to work on for the duration
- Agreeing we could ask each other questions, share where we had got to and to do some coaching to reach our intentions. There was openness and collaboration, if only for 5 minutes of the 2-hour session
- Sharing at the end of the session what we had achieved and our observations of the experience
So what were the outcomes?
Accountability – I stopped myself from unloading the tumble dryer to save time? I even smile writing this! A distraction was in my mind as a timesaver? I am so glad I can now see what I would have done, if Lucy wasn’t there. The accountability of the partnership helped me deliver.
Focus – I focused for the whole time. The session was time bound, so I was able to see my progress against the window of time we had agreed. I am competitive with myself, so this really drove me to deliver my plans.
Delivery – I created my 2021 Strategy with monthly goals and actions in less than 2 hours. I have clear joined up plans for 2021. I was also able to share this immediately with Lucy when we reviewed our session. The debrief and discussion was perfectly times, to consider immediate feedback.
Satisfaction – I achieved more in 2 hours in the silent meeting, than I would have if I sat in the same place alone.
The space created for clarity of thought, focus and fast results is aligned to the coaching experience.