Academy for Chief Executives Blog Rotating Header Image

The Power of Silence

– By Andrew B Morris

Children used to be told they should be seen and not heard. Bear that in mind next time you’re in a meeting with a client or potential customer.

The most verbose person in a meeting isn’t necessarily the most senior or the most smart, they just like the sound of their own voice. They crave air time. Sometimes, the most senior (and smart) person will say virtually nothing, then ask the killer question just as the meeting is coming to a close. This makes a huge impact.

So it’s quite a good habit never to speak first.

Wait until we’ve assessed the situation.

Work out the power dynamics in the room.

Closely observe body language

Listen for clues for which buttons to press.

Then replay their argument in our own words.

They’re surprised by our intuition and we connect.

In a lengthy and important negotiation, we often reach a critical point where we either walk away or resolve it.

The moment of truth

That’s when silence can prove truly powerful. Who will blink first?

Maintain radio silence and let them, not us, break it.

When they break cover, we know we have got them.


Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Andrew Morris is Chief Executive of the Academy for Chief Executives, helping businesses to accelerate growth through better leadership. As part of this role he chairs and mentors a group of exclusive central London Business Leaders in Academy Group 1. Andrew describes himself as a creative businessman, who enjoys meeting people from all facets of life. His mantra is ‘take your job seriously, but not yourself.’

To find out more about membership to the Academy for Chief Executives contact us on: 0845 118 1028 or at:

Leave a Reply