Silence Is Not Agreement

10 09 2009

I Want My Money Back

Have you ever bought something from an infomercial and found out a month later that, you not only bought the item, but that you also bought a $39.99 membership that you never wanted? Well, these folks are using the awful tatic of opt out which enables them to sign you up as long as you don’t speak up and say no. It’s a terrible pratice and getting out is not an easy feat. Many times you are bounced around from person to person or told you need to put it in writing. What! Put it in writing, I didn’t have to put it in writing to get in, why do you need to put it in writing to get out. “That’s our policy sir”, says the rep on the other end of the phone.

So Quiet In Here

Now, have you ever called for a decision and drew silence from your audience? Of course you have. The question is what did you do with that response. Your action at a time like this is important. You are the decision maker and you have the power and you have voiced your opinion and know what you want to do, so you could pull the “silence is agreement” card, which essentially signs the team up for whatever decision you make without really having their input and buy-in. Sounds like the opt out tactic, does it not. At first it doesn’t seem like a big deal, because no one spoke up, You hold the decision card and are simply exercising your right, right? Well, just like when we receive that extra package attached to the infomerciap item we bought and we are upset and raising cain to get our money back, your team members will come calling sometime in the future when the decision takes a bad turn. They will let you know they want off the ride that they never signed up for in the first place. You will find yourself giving back the trust and influence currency you used when you opted them in to your decision.

Silence is a Clue

Silence is not agreement, it is a clue that somethings not right. If no one is speaking up, they may not agree or may be missing information. Many times your audience is silent because you haven’t exposed the team to the information far enough in advance to give them time to think it through. To set the stage for quick decisions, have a briefing with key stakeholders before the decision and get a feel for their potential response. If you can, get their commit before the group session. After the briefings, you will have a feel for the direction the team wants to take and will have significantly reduced the likelihood of drawing silence in decision meetings.


Lead With Style

2 09 2009


So I found quite the interesting site through a Chris Brogan tweet. and she reviewed a wonderful FREE little ebook by Steve Charzin called Marketing Apple. It so resonated with me, that I had to talk about it. You can find it at It inspired the name of this post.

I’m A Fan

I’ve been a fan of all things Apple since my freshman year in high school. And I’ve always recognized the style leadership of Apple products. iPhone, iMac, Mac Book, Mac Air all impress me. These are the machines I play with when I’m at Best Buy. Steve confirms that Apple’s edge is Apple’s attention to style in his ebook and

Steve Knows

Steve knows what he is talking about. Just read his ebook and you’ll see what I mean. I’m such a believer that style can give a product an edge that I’m working on a product now that plays off the sleek styles of Apple products. I admittedly only own one Apple product at the time of this post which is the iPhone that I’m using to type this post. If I had my way, I would own at least one of all the Apple products, but that is quite an expensive undertaking. For me it came down to the fact that I was an engineer working for Intel Corporation and was more loyal to the brands with Intel Inside than my love for Apple. Now that Apple has Intel inside, I’m looking hard at the products again. Style creates visual stimulation which makes people want to interact with you and your product. Style makes people want to bring a product into their personal space and interact with it. This does not just pertain to products, but to anything that you want to present to an auidience.


Ever been looking to buy a car online…how many did you look past because the picture didn’t show a shiny exterior and a spotless interior? Those owners who spent those hundreds of dollars to spruce it up no doubt got more calls and got the price they were asking for. They had what we call pride of ownership and these folks know that if the package is well polished that it is makes customer feel good about receiving the product into their lives. When a company, business, or individual leads with style, they create an emotional connection with their customers or audience. It’s a feeling, not a feature, an experience, not a solution, a community, not a product or project. Steve’s ebook is packed with excellent information, and it is also packed with style. It is a awesome combination and one that I strive to recreate in everything I do.

Connect with @chrisbrogan
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