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Communication exercise:

Silence is golden - mute communication

Absolutely the best way to enhance your communication!

After researching for years now developing ways for people to improve their communication here is the one which is the best:
Don’t talk!
Don’t talk? Yes! At all? Yes! That’s tough! Oh yes!

I did it several times for a couple weeks and found out that it enhanced my ability of communication immensely. And the more often I do it the faster the improvement gets! Pretty cool and worthwhile … and, yes, tough! But it gets much easier the longer you do it. And it’s absolutely worth the effort because the benefits will stay with you even when you are done doing it!
And another yes: Yes, I did it all day long, at work, too. I taught groups of people (including children who could not read) and did coaching with clients and everything else. It worked pretty well and really everybody had his benefit of it!

So here we go:

How to do it:

Just be mute. Be silent.
If you have to communicate with others write your message down. For that purpose take a writing pad with you.
And if you want to: Keep a whistle or something like that with you for the case of an emergency.

There are numerous examples of new situations you will stumble across (always good!) – some of them are at least sort of weird and others are really great!

A few of my own experiences:

  • We have a nearby home improvement store and usually the sales people run pretty fast in the other direction if they descry a customer with this ‘Would you please come over here – I have a question before I give you all my money’-look on their face. (Andreas and I trained some cowboy-techniques there and are able now to catch them by sneaking up to them from different directions and then suddenly run pretty fast. Sometimes with a loud ‘We have got him!’ Then they are so shocked that they try no more escape…)
    Anyway in this store I got with no effort (except the short run with my writing pad in front of me) 3 (three!!) sales persons at the same time - including the big boss – trying to help me finding some spray which looks like stone if you squirt it on something. Actually it was a bigger challenge to stop them helping me at some point.
    So if you really want to get a good service – try it this way! I had a lot of good experiences like this.
  • Some day a very friendly shy deaf guy asked me the way and was surprisingly surprised about my complete communication equipment. Actually I learned some sign language before ( to be able to talk to some Sign Language trained Orang Utans and Gorillas but didn’t use it then for some reason. At least I made someone very happy - and much more self-confident.
  • The first time I tried this being mute experiment was at an age of about ten. I didn’t use a writing block at that time or let anybody know about the intention of it - and so everybody thought I was weirder at that point than I was anyway.
  • Other nice effects you will see with others: People - who know that you can hear (!) - start talking in different languages with you, speak very loud, write things down for you, are pretty much concentrated while communicating with you, and handle you extremely friendly - even more than they do anyway.
  • Children love things like this!
    I trained groups of them with participants who couldn’t not even read and the result was that the second grade kids proudly helped the first grade kids - which were very motivated to learn to read... They all showed an immense amount of concentration! And several of them tried it by themselves and succeeded! The youngest child I talked to with my writing block just learned to walk - and I learned by the way that my painted dogs look like cats… (But at least the cutie was enthusiastic about my bunnies, suns, and flowers …)

What you gain through this exercise:

  • perseverance
  • discipline
  • patience with yourself and others
  • self-confidence
  • humour

What you need for this exercise:

  • several pads of note paper
  • pens
  • a whistle or flute

The benefits for you:

  • The most important advantage: Because it needs quite a while to write things down you have to think about what you really like to let people know! What is worth the time you need to write down your message for you and the other?
  • And for the same reason you have to find out how to phrase the most effective way!
  • Your ability to use your nonverbal communication (like facial expression and gesture) enhances a lot!
  • You will develop a huge capability of concentration, humour, discipline, perseverance, and patience with yourself and others!
  • You stop babbling. That will save you some time even after your silence project.
  • And you will gain lot of fun and some unexpected benefits!
  • And the best: All these results will stay even when you start talking again! (Regularly updates are always useful!)


  • Keep some prepared pages in your writing pad with ‘Hello!’, Thank you!’, ‘Good bye!’, and ‘I’m working to enhance my ability of communication!’ with you. That makes the beginning of each communication with friends and strangers much easier because they know that you are not fooling around with them more than you do usually.
  • If you don’t have the heart to try this 24 hours a day you could start with being silent at special places or times, just in the kitchen, just after work, just on workdays… The effect on your brain will not be as good as if you do it full time but it will be better than nothing.

And for everybody who was a bit shy:
To speak from my own experience, people react extremely positive on this!

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