Own Your SilenceApril 3, 2012 Leave a comment
I caught this drawing posted among many other charts in IISC Learning Center. It caught my attention. I have long been familiar with the idea that silence equals complicity. But I always applied it to movement and our work for justice. I never quite thought of it as applying to organizational dynamics.
Then I started thinking about those water cooler conversations. Not those exciting and serendipitous exchanges of ideas that can happen in a hallway, but the sneering and complaining that we do about each other, about our leaders and our colleagues. And I realized that this sort of talking is actually equal to silence.
Good facilitation, good group process, is all about breaking down the ways in which we conspire to keep things as they are. I don’t think the change process works when participants aren’t able to hold on to the ways in which they have been silent.
Yes! This is true at the level of social movements. But it is also true in our smaller and more personal organizational context. It is likely true for you, right now.
What will you do to break your silence?