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5 Business Skills Every IT Pro Must Master (Collection) by Leigh Thompson, Jerry Weissman, Terry J. Fadem, Stephen Robbins, Robert Follett

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Truth 38. The Value of Silence

Sherlock Holmes once solved a murder mystery based not on what happened but on what didn’t happen. Holmes remarked to his assistant, Dr. Watson, about “the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.” Watson, surprised, responded, “But the dog did nothing in the nighttime.” To which Holmes replied, “That was the curious incident.” Holmes concluded the crime had to be committed by someone with whom the dog was familiar because the watchdog didn’t bark.

The dog that didn’t bark in the night is often used as a metaphor for an event that is significant by reason of its absence. That story is also an excellent illustration of the importance of silence in communication.

Silence—defined here as an absence of speech or ...

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