Silence can be uncomfortable, and it can be tempting to rush to fill “dead air.” When silence falls upon a meeting or lands abruptly in conversation, it can be unsettling and anxiety-provoking. You may question the efficiency of communication or worry that your message has been misunderstood.
But silence is one of the most powerful communication tools we can use. When harnessed, silence allows room for focus, self-reflection, empathy, and introspection. Sometimes, silence is exactly what is needed for a creative storm to follow.
The next time you find yourself in a silent standoff with a friend or among colleagues… pause. Invite silence into the space and watch what blossoms.
“Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Words come out of the void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.”
“i met a woman who knew pain the same way i did… who cried as much as i did, drank as much wine as i did, ate as much pasta as i did and who’s heart was bigger than her whole body. she immediately felt like a sister to me.” Ariana gushed for Lady Gaga.
Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King
Friends since 1976, this duo continues to defend and cheer each other on. “We have talked about everything and nothing,” says Gayle King. “I’ve been to five therapists…Nobody has been a better therapist than Oprah!”
Helen Keller was 19 months old when she lost her eyesight and hearing. 20-year-old Ann Sullivan became her teacher. The rest is history.
Tracee Ellis Ross and Samira Nasr
“…she is not a shapeshifter, changing her point of view with the times, but has a clarity and continuity of vision built from life experience, impeccable taste, a hunger for knowledge, and a love of people,” says Tracee Ellis Ross of friend Samira Nasr.
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert
From sports rivals to supportive allies, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert built mutual admiration through sport and have shared commendable leadership, grace, and friendship.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
“Weirdly, I remember thinking, ‘My friend is here! My friend is here!’ Even though things had been going great for me at the show, with Amy there, I felt less alone.” Tina Fey’s friendship with Amy Poehler is one for the books.
Women in U.K. Parliament and Meghan Markle
“We share an understanding of the abuse and intimidation which is now so often used as a means of disparaging women from getting on with our very important work.” Women of U.K. Parliament issued a strong statement in support of Meghan Markle.
Eleanor Roosevelt and Pauli Murray exchanged hundreds of letters throughout their friendship, uniting over debate and civic cause. Roosevelt notably wrote about her “firebrand” friend in the Feb 1953 issue of Ebony, years before the Civil Rights Movement.
Beyonce and Michelle Obama
“Every time I see her, she inspires me, she empowers me, she encourages me,” says Beyonce of Michelle Obama.
Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts
The friendship between Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts spans ALMOST 40 YEARS. Talk about #goals.
As the coach of your life, be sure these players are on your team:
The Mentor – This is a person you respect and admire, someone who’s “been there.” You see their life and think “That’s what I want.” These people remind you to look at the big picture.
An Advisee – Someone you mentor. They are eager to learn from you and respect your work. Your willingness to teach them and spend time with them reaffirms your own knowledge and skills, even reminding you where you’ve come from and lessons you’ve learned along the way.
Your Advocate – No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, you need people who fight for you and honor what you stand for.
Supporting Star – You challenge each other to become the best you can be. You compare notes, support each other, and get competitive when it’s beneficial. This could be a colleague or friend, someone you feel comfortable delegating work to or can trust to help when you unexpectedly head out of town.
A Neutral – This is someone who can provide an outside perspective when needed, a person with no direct investment in your life or work.
The Wildcard – The Wildcard is just that, wild. Someone in an industry completely different than your own, an energy that keeps you on your toes and brings you new ideas and experiences.
The people around you can make the difference between pushing beyond your limits and settling for less. Find those who motivate, inspire, and encourage you to do better.