Embracing the silence
- by Stephane Leblanc
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to become the wise man around the table. The one who does not speak often but when he does, wisdom speaks. The one who has mastered presence and lives in the present moment. I had met some people like this and I thought they were very impactful.
Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens. - Jimmy Hendrix
I love this quote and I think of it often as I still have a lot of work to do to master silence.
You see, all my life, I have always been a talker, the one that fills the space. With all my readings and life experience, I do have some wisdom to share, but so does everyone else. I used to justify all my talking by saying I wanted to save everyone time by sharing my knowledge, but this was just a cover up for my need to be recognized and loved.
This overwhelming need to share has brought me many challenges in my life.
On the professional front, it created some conflicts with my colleagues and my bosses as I was always the one who talked the most. In many cases, I monopolized the conversations in the leadership teams I was a part of. This created tension with my colleagues and especially my bosses.
Two years ago, it even costed me a promotion as I was being considered for a President of the North American group for a European company. I remember vividly when the Swedish psychologist that was doing my assessment said to me:''Stephane, you are a great guy with great values and endless passion but you need to remember that less of you, is more of you.'' This really struck a cord with me.
It has also brought me some challenges on the personal front as I always feel a need to share with my friends my wisdom. I am definitely a seeker of wisdom and I am an avid reader as I am endlessly committed to my self development. But what I often forget I that the wisdom I seek may not be the wisdom others seek as each of us have our own path.
From the work of Richard Barrett on psychological evolution and the rise of consciousness of humans, I learned that most of our negative behaviours originate from our unmet needs and the unhealed wounds from our childhood. In my cars, the unmet need was the need to be loved and appreciated. My biggest fear in this life is to be rejected and I always overcompensate by trying to prove myself so people will love me with the result that people do reject me because I am overwhelming.
I got some precious coaching on this from Richard and also Patrik Somers- Stephenson who advised me to consider that I am already loved and I don't have to prove myself to anyone and that it was time for me to let go of the fears of my ego and allow my soul to fully express itself.
I have been meditating for many years and I know the power of silence. I am also an early riser and I cherish the great silence of the early morning as it is when I get my greatest inspirations. This is a always a great time for me to reflect and create and allow what wants to emerge to emerge. I often have great ideas in the serenity of the silence.
When we meditate, we learn that there is a lot of joy is in the gap between thoughts. We know that we have many thousands thoughts a day, most of them the same as yesterday, but as we embrace silence, new thoughts will emerge and some of these will allow us to create breakthroughs in our lives.
I talked to Alan Seale recently and he said that being in silence every day for some time is absolutely essential for us to connect to the quantum field and be inspired by what wants to emerge in our lives and in the world.
I believe that embracing silence is a key leadership characteristics for conscious leaders. This is quite a contrast to the usual confident and bigger than life leaders we are used to. But a silent leader is not a week leader or one that lacks confidence, to the contrary.
At the heart of a silent leader is a quiet confidence rather than ego, and a willingness to allow others to shine their light. Silent leaders are compassionate, understanding and open and they are loved and appreciated by their team.
A conscious leader is one who has made the shift from I to WE. A leader who is focused on others and their needs and is committed to help those he leads rise to their full potential. It makes a lot of sense then, that a conscious leader embraces silence and allows others to shine and also allows what wants to emerge to emerge.
I am far from mastery on this as I have moved from unconsciously unskilled to consciously unskilled and I am committed to master this and I feel blessed to have such close friends who have taken a stand for my true greatness and are always willing to coach me on this in a direct, loving and caring way.