Habit 7 of 7

We’re wrapping up the Communication Habits series this week with what may be the worst: the silent treatment.

This negative behavior can cause the greatest problems for leaders – internal complaints; feelings of favoritism, discrimination, and dislike; EEOC claims (i.e., external legal action); misplaced control; team manipulation; perceived punishment.  The list goes on.

When a leader withholds personal vulnerability, emotional connection, and relational communication, he/she inflicts pain into the workforce and causes others to question that leader’s motive.

The most devastating impact of “the silent treatment” is a troublesome culture.  This behavior impacts so many things: it allows managers to hold back important and vital information; it breeds siloed decision-making; it allows for a disengaged, dysfunctional, and disrespectful work environment; it encourages unhealthy competition and discourages teamwork.  When leaders give the silent treatment to their teammates, peers, and colleagues, they are, perhaps unintentionally but in essence, encouraging others to act the same way.

Heathier Habit:  Forgive the other person of whatever wrong you feel they’ve done to you.  Have a conversation with that person to discuss how you feel, what you’ve experienced, and the result of the other person’s actions or words. Come to the conversation with an open heart and good intention, in truth, and a remedy to prevent this situation from reoccurring.

When a colleague hurts us, the silent treatment is the worst, yet most common, reaction we have because it allows us to shy away from the perceived conflict.  Recognizing the initial pain is a great first step.  Addressing the situation instead of remaining quiet is the best next step.

I can help you intentionally identify when and how often you subject others to the silent treatment and determine the best path forward to address the situation.  This is one trait that can help you grow into a truly excellent leader.  Let’s chat!

Have you read about the first six habits?  If not, or need a refresher, you can access them all here: learning to state clearly what your expectations are, believing the best intent from another person, allowing colleagues to follow their own process to realize the expected results, how using vulnerability provides an avenue for deeper conversations, greater sympathy, and enhanced empathy, listening to understand, and communicating well with tone and body language.


P.S.  Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!

P.P.S.  With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, I am a proven results-driven leader.  My expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching.  I am a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust.