Not-so-small talk

It amazes me how much time we waste in our effort not to waste any time.

Five, even ten minutes to understand who a person is, where they are today, now, at this moment…there’s no way that you can skip that step and hope to create any sort of real connection in a meeting.

Almost every culture in the world knows this – that you cannot start a conversation before you’ve talked to someone as a person.  Except Americans, of course.  We pride ourselves on “getting down to business.”

There’s wisdom in those old civilities of asking after someone’s well-being, their family.

Two people might be able to strike a deal, but two human beings are needed to create any sort of partnership.

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6 Responses to Not-so-small talk

  1. arayans says:

    this is just lovely :)

  2. Christen says:

    Having lived in the Middle East for 11 years, I loved this! It made me chuckle fondly to think about asking, “How are you? How is your family?” in ten different ways, kissing on the cheeks between each inquiry. And you are so right–really knowing someone does make our interchanges more efficient than if we just “get down to business” all the time. Thanks!

  3. Yes, but if you form a relationship, it makes it much harder to stab that person in the back later! Sooo sad, but soooo true!

  4. Zanna says:

    Really?? My experience is that Americans are GREAT at this! Or maybe it is that Brits are really bad! Last time I did a series of meetings in San Francisco I was somewhat overwhelmed as every meeting started with each person giving an overview of their CV and achievements. Although, when I worked in East Africa I actually used to record names and ages of colleagues’ kids so I could ask after them knowledgeably!

  5. Pingback: Someone Old, Someone New and Someone Borrowed « jonwagner

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