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  • Silence

    Is it always golden?

    photoThe other day I traveled across the country and something rather unusual took place I thought at the time.  For some odd reason, I did not speak to a single person the entire trip.  This includes from when I parked my vehicle at the airport until I arrived at my destination.  I did the normal checks through security, waited in line to board each plane and sat next to passengers on different flights but did not say one word.

    I was in transit for approximately 7 hours and I did not utter a single word even to the airline attendant.  When asked if I wanted something to drink, I just shook my head no.  I had multiple opportunities to make eye contact with others and I avoided them quickly for no apparent reason other than I chose not to engage them.

    The more I have thought about it, I never talk to anyone when I travel.  How odd? Since personal branding is a full-time project rather than a weekend hobby, I now wonder about the countless hours I may have wasted by not allowing people to interact with me (my brand).  Unfortunately, I will never know, which bothers me.

    Are there times when it is appropriate to hang a “closed sign” on your personal brand?


    Devin Hughes is a former college basketball player, sales and marketing aficionado, keynote speaker, part-time academic and frequent eclectic thinker.  He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to inspire “Big Thoughts” and facilitate conversations.  He is an avid storyteller who has the unique ability to connect with audiences by inspiring them to be the change they wish to see in the world.  A graduate of Colgate University, he lives Carlsbad, CA with his wife and four daughters.  You may contact him via e-mail at devin@devinchughes.com.  His website is http://www.devinchughes.com/  Follow him on Twitter.   Connect with him on Facebook.  

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    3 comments on “Silence
    1. avatar
      Yinka olaito says:

      It is better to keep quiet when one knows he has no valuable contribution to make. It will alsobe right to be silent when one is annoyed by the other person especially in the crowd. Outside these, many people had encountered fortune just be greeting a co-passenger on the plane, had made great impact by sharing great tips that can help the other person.
      In conclusion, ability to know the balance will ge good. Thanks for this question

      • avatar
        Devin C Hughes says:

        HI Yinka-

        How does one begin to understand that balance that you are referring to?

    2. avatar
      Mike Urbonas says:

      Devin, thanks for writing this. I suggest you might be a little too hard on yourself. Few people would criticize you for declaring “down time” during a grueling seven hour flight itinerary complete with connecting flights.

      There’s definitely a time and place for everything. No one should be expected to be “on” 24/7.

      This reminds me of an article by Tim Ferriss of “4 Hour Work Week” fame on his blog some three years ago. He asked his [male] readers, “So what do you say to [Warren Buffett] if you [happen to be in a rest room], and, by some miracle, you end up standing at the urinal next to him?” Readers replied in droves about what their “elevator pitch” would be to dazzle the billionaire of Berkshire Hathaway…while they had him captive in the rest room!

      I replied, suggesting that it wouldn’t be a crime to just leave Warren Buffet alone, perhaps nod to him politely, and simply let the man pee in peace. Suffice to say mine was a minority viewpoint.

      I also commented that the scenario sounded a lot like a true story from business author Jeffrey Fox, in which person planning to sit next to the CEO for a 5-hour flight to boost his career and regale the CEO with his business brilliance. Instead he hurt himself by making a huge pest of himself (time and place for everything…)

      What really is an essential expression of your personal brand is how you communicate with others, how you treat others, when you really do need to be “on.” I wrote an article about this which I think readers here will find relevant: Please check it out here – with thanks in advance.

    2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Silence"
    1. […] C. Hughes just posted something similar this morning.  His take was slightly different, having been on a long trip but not engaging or […]

    2. […] Silence Tweet Is it always golden? The other day I traveled… […]

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