Here are the rules:
1. Choose a “normal” day. Don’t choose a day you already planned to be alone. Choose a day where you will engage in normal relationships with other people.
2. Don’t use a work or school day. Don’t want to get fired OK?
3. Tell your spouse, kids and/or friends about your experiment.
4. Don’t be rude. Don’t be unloving. Just refrain from talking. Have fun with reactions instead.
5. Study the silence. Is it difficult? Uncomfortable? Do you feel an urge to talk? And if so, why? Can others read you without talking?
6. Notice your urge to speak. They will be far more common than you think. Investigate your intention when you feel the urge. For what reason did you feel compelled to speak?
7. When you do speak, choose words that are “few and full.” And then return to your discipline.
8. When and if you speak, journey inward. Wrestle with the words you chose. Why did you choose those words? What were you hoping to accomplish? What were your internal motivations in choosing your words?
9. Listen to others. Take the opportunity to listen actively. Pay attention to body language, gestures, expressions, etc.
10. Pay attention to yourself. Your own body language, gestures, etc.
Once you have completed this exercise, you should have learned quite a few things.
Are you reading other people’s non verbal signs correctly? Are your own non verbal communications skills in need of improvement? Are habitual facial expressions sending conflicting messages that contradict the words you speak? Your body language and expressions may be speaking so loud that people around you are unable to hear your words. Below are some of the goals you should look at after conducting this exercise.
The exercise forces you to think and choose the right words when speaking. The goal is to help you realize the importance of choosing the right words, gestures, etc. in order to communicate better. The exercise should also force you to give away some “control” and help you get over any fear of speaking up effectively when the time comes. It should help you to learn by paying attention to something other than words and forces those around us to pay attention to other aspects of your particular communication style.
Once you have completed this exercise, write your observations in your diary and read it often to remind yourself of what you learned in this exercise.