One of the benefits of silence is that it creates a reflective space for processing and response. Silence is a respectful initial stance and a good first step into a new culture or situation.
Somebody recently asked me "Isn't having a silent worker tag an asset?". I thought through this and believe that being silent worker / manager, more often than not, limit our ability to share our opinions and make as good a difference, as we are capable of making. Either you just can't or don't want to express yourself. I have seen some people in the group contributing more than others and some are found with an awkward silence. While being verbose is not desirable, however, it is important that while setting up foundation of our career, we must be able to talk about our work and share it with people who matters.
At times, people start talking ,talking and talking and forget to be quiet and as a result put themselves in an embarrassing situation. I have also seen some people across levels shooting their mouth before their head and that is something very dangerous and MUST be avoided.
Sometimes there is a merit and I have found people working silenty and they enjoy the silent worker tag, however, remaining silent in group situations should make us apprehensive. What if our silence is viewed as inadequacy? What if our silence was taken for "not knowing"?
During one of my leadership interaction sessions, one of the staff asked - "if I am working, why should I bother about talking about the work I am doing. My manager should take care of this". While I fundamentally agree with this point, however, I asked "Is your manager more interested in his own career or your's?". I got the answer - "his own, of course" If this is so, why should we leave our destiny completely in the hands of other and stop taking charge of it? In my view, to get all round success, following is imperative : -
P X P X P = Exposure
1st P is Performance (Silent workers are awesome in that!)
2nd P is Projection (Operation information flow management) - This is where silent workers need to pay utmost attention.3rd P is Perception
If you are a great performer, it is imperative that this is projected in right earnestness without wearing it on the sleeves which shall lead to perceived connotation resulting in enhanced opportunities for exposure. The managers who are not good at managing operation information flow, generally, tend to loose out in ensuring penetration of reward for their staff and themselves.
There are no perfectly right or wrong answer to this and it may very from position to position. You may like to think through and see if you are doing the right thing and adopting a balanced approach!