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Group Practices: Silence

More than two-thirds of the participants in the original Group Magic study referred to silence as a shifting factor in their group’s experience of collective resonance. Silence appeared in three ways: (1) at a time when individuals acknowledged and connected deeply with one another or as a time to connect with themselves, (2) as a tacitly understood, spontaneous next step in the group’s process, and (3) as a facilitation tool used by an individual to affect group processes. In a few cases, quiet was part of the context in which the entire experience happened or part of the design for the group.

Although often we find silence with others uncomfortable and rush to fill the silence with words, interviewees in the collective resonance study described silence as something very special: “this hush of safety”; “a really sacred quiet”; “silence as a gift”, “like a silent speaking...you always knew what the other person was thinking” and “a place where people can just…go deeper and deeper.”

Click on the links below to explore how groups use momentary or lengthy silence as a practice.

Your own familiarity and comfort level with silence can be critical in facilitating a group into resonance. Click on Personal Practices in the sidebar at left for ideas on how to develop greater personal comfort and familiarity with silence.

If you have another example of a Group Practice of silence, Submit your own Practice by clicking the button in the sidebar at left.

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