At the Dalton Institute conference, I sat in on a presentation by Dr. Gage Pain, the Vice President for Student Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Her presentation focused on silence--how we need to make space for silence in our daily academic lives. As an introvert, I love silence. I love to be alone in a room with a good window so I can look out of it as I simultaneously look inward to figure out what's going on in my head.
One of the main points in her talk is that silence allows for listening: if you don't bring silence into your job, then how can you allow those around you to speak? I've been serving as Dean of Students for about 6 months now, and I've found myself running around a lot. I haven't created enough space, or time, for silence and listening. So that's a goal I'm going to set: more time for silence. A scheduled time to listen--to students, faculty, and staff.
Do you resonate with this concept? If so, please reply to this post. Let me know what you think and if you also value silence.