This Is How Elon Musk & Steve Jobs Use Silence To Succeed

The rule of awkward silence is something that sets apart an amateur from a successful person. You might love or hate them, but you can never deny the fact that people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are successful.

Apart from their wealth, they get noticed for their intelligence. It might seem like luck played a major role in their career. While no one can actually deny or confirm it, there is one thing that you can say for sure.

Keeping aside the hard work that they put in, they do a lot of things differently in order to stay successful. Let us cover one such thing that will help you achieve the same.

Awkward Silence

The Rule Of Awkward Silence

If you are thinking that your skill and some critical thinking would help you achieve success, you are wrong. There is one thing that all the brilliant minds in the world follow which is the rule of awkward silence.

It is not so hard to understand. To put it in simple words, you have to give yourself time to think before making a valuable choice.

If you have a reputation to maintain, correct answers are much more important than fast answers. Every time you find yourself in a place to answer critical questions, it is vital that you stay calm and process the situation.

Even for a really simple question, taking some time to think would you come up with valuable points to make your answer interesting.

Why Is It Awkward?

If this is such a noble quality to have, then why did people name it “Awkward” you ask? Well, this process does not happen in an instant.

Some questions are simple while some are much more complex and harder than the rest. In order to cool, you cannot make these decisions in a split second.

Instead, you might need 5, 10 or even 20 seconds to think and answer them. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are popular for their pauses in between their interviews.

They have records showing that they waited more than 20 seconds in certain scenarios.

Instead of giving shallow answers, your answers would start to sound much more profound and proof-based. People can understand you better when you follow the rule of awkward silence.

Be Intelligent and Smart

Emotional Intelligence

If you are someone who finds it hard to manage your emotions on-stage, this rule is especially for you. When faced with questions in front of hundreds of people, it is natural to stumble or feel overwhelmed.

Instead of getting emotional, taking a few seconds to prepare your answers would build up your confidence. The Prefrontal cortex of your brain is what allows you to answer questions and engage rational thinking.

But every time you get scared or feel outnumbered, your amygdala gets activated. This pushes your body into an emotional surge. Remembering this rule would help you keep your emotions in check.

Implementing The Rule

Answering a challenging question in seconds often pushes us into a situation where we’d rather say whatever comes to our mind and leave.

In some other cases, we’d just recite what the other person needs to hear and try to end the conversation. But think! Is this what you would really want to do or do you feel helpless.

Let us see how to implement this. The first obvious thing you should do is to buy yourself some time by asking politely.

You have to imagine yourself sitting on the driver seat and process all possible scenarios. Remain calm and confident.


The real power lies in tricking your brain into believing that you are not afraid to put yourself in tough situations.

If you think replying late would make you look like a fool, try giving a foolish answer. The rule of awkward silence would completely transform how you approach problem-handling.

Playing with emotions is a tricky game and if you still want to play it, you must make sure that you win.

Disclaimer: This information is covered based on the latest research and development available. However, it may not fully reflect all current aspects of the subject matter.

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