There is no “small talk”

As Dan Millman’s sage explains in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, “there is never nothing happening”.

I thought of this while reading this post pointing the unseen value of the apparently trivial conversations that happen during coffee breaks. It shares an interesting claim about the value of just allowing employees a bit of shared, unsupervised, unstructured conversation. This is fairly anecdotal, but I have to say I like this viewpoint:

Remember, this disruptive innovation, conversation, requires no enterprise social media, no 2-year IT project, no so-called management.

For authentic conversation there is no million dollar budget, no fancy PowerPoints on ‘culture’ (?), no software, no well-manicured vendors.

Great conversation means no ‘thought leadership,’ no annoying consultants, no hierarchy, nocommunity of practice, no training, no loopy change management – just genuine chitchat.

Hat tip: David Gurteen (tweet)

2 thoughts on “There is no “small talk”

  1. Diane Cline

    In the field of linguistics called Conversation Analysis, personal chatter is how all human beings make ties or connect with each other. Those who don’t engage in it or who violate the rules by keeping it too short or overstepping what topics can be discussed usually have fewer friends. It varies by culture, too. In some countries you might call someone for business and spend half an hour in personal chatter with his or her assistant before getting to the point or the purpose for calling. It would be rude to just ask for something without first establishing trust and caring. So, a company where people share their stories and connect on a human level is worth the “loss of productivity” any day.

    Reply

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