The Silence Procedure


Who wants to run the recently created Libyan No Fly Zone?

Both the Turks and Germans appeared to veto the idea of Nato doing so a couple of days ago.

As a result, the Chair seemed to float the concept of adopting The Silence Procedure. BBC Newsnight’s Mark Urban summed this up slightly better than the wikipedia definition, something along these lines:

Those that were not inclined to follow would remain silent, let the others carry on as they saw fit and commit not to do anything that undermined their efforts.

I was immediately stricken with the recalled frustration that enveloped me in meetings of yore. I’ve been at forums, ranging from Board Meetings to mini clientside team briefs, where one lone wayward voice has dug in to try and stop the required action occurring. And they succeed.

If only I’d known of this perfectly legitimate tool of diplomacy. If it’s good enough for Nato, then it’s good enough for your next meeting aiming to get a key measure enacted, whether internally or on a customer project. Embrace it.

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