Andrew Rixon is another fan of silence in facilitation.
It is not surprising that many people feel uncomfortable with silence within groups especially if you are the “leader” or “facilitator”. As Catherine Durnell Cramton has written in an article called “Finding common ground in dispersed collaboration”, silence has meant all of the following at one time or another:
I strongly disagree
I am indifferent
I am out of town
I don’t know how to address this sensitive issue
I am busy with other things
I did not notice your question
I did not realise that you wanted a response
Another thing that happens in silence is that people are left wondering which of these (and other) meanings are right. And that introduction of uncertainty, and not knowing, can be very useful.
(I’ve been silent in this blog for the last few days… I hope you enjoyed it!)