For years, I have been helping professionals become clear and concise communicators, but I have recently seen the need to help them even more.
Clear thinking precedes clear communication, but we can’t get a moment of quiet to think. The flow of information isn’t slowing down, and people won’t stop talking, emailing, texting, scrolling, and swiping. And we can’t seem to lower the noise.
We need to learn to manage it much better than we are.
As the author of Noise: Living and leading when nobody can focus (Wiley & Sons, 2019), I am committed to helping professionals manage the noise around them: distractions and disruptions, digital devices, and the non-stop information that diminish our ability to think clearly. But noise isn’t just a challenge for individuals — it’s much bigger than that. Moving forward, I want to change the conversation about the role of quiet in the workplace.
The Quiet Workplace challenges conventional beliefs. Our mission is to make silence the secret ingredient; to make quiet time practical, powerful, and realistic through a series of simple principles, practices, programs, products, and places that will help professionals, teams, and organizations lower the volume of what wears and tears them.
Too many employers preach the value of work/life balance and mental wellbeing, only to have their team culture tell a different story. They allow the following to happen every day:
- Meetings from morning till night
- Messages at all hours
- Collaboration platforms that demolish any semblance of boundaries
- Constant collaboration at the expense of clear thinking
I hear from talented teams every week who confess they feel stuck on the “hamster wheel” — lots of effort, minimal results.
There are too many false assumptions about the workplace that people believe and promote: Collaboration is always useful, everything is an emergency, technology is always beneficial, sitting in silence isn’t working, and we should always be accessible, just to name a few.
What would it look like if we worked in a more thoughtful and fulfilling environment? If our organizations had fewer distractions and disruptions? We’d feel a sense of balance, connection, and purpose, not corporate callousness. The Quiet Workplace is challenging and meaningful, not useless. It’s much more human, way more humane.
We’ve developed the Quiet Quiz, a 14-question, self-assessment tool to help you gauge the noise in your workplace and how well you manage it. The quiz is free, takes less than three minutes to complete, and instantly gives you practices that bring quiet to your professional life.
Use the quiz results to help you reflect on your current work environment — is it a quiet workplace? Do people interrupt you constantly? Do you regularly schedule quiet time into your day? Do you have a designated place for quiet work? How well do you manage the noise?
What are you waiting for? Quiet works.