Speaking the unspoken

I’ve been thinking a lot about what goes unspoken in the world in general and in my little slice of it in particular. There I go, thinking again, but I have been doing a bit of doing too, honest.

Anyway, there I am on Friday sitting with my mate Tim Kitchin. (I would normally say “friend” not “mate” but Tim likes to assume a sort of mockney persona when talking to me for some reason, so what the heck.)

We’re meeting to talk about the next step towards doing a book together about humanising business. Tim’s full of good plans and I’m nodding approvingly and staring out of the window of Waterstones bar in Piccadilly, telling myself to make enthusiastic noises and ignoring the fact that – for whatever reason – this afternoon I just don’t feel like I want to write a book, or at least talk about it. Finally I cop to what’s happening. “Tim, for some reason, I don’t know why, I’m just finding it hard to engage with this subject today.”

So now instead of a phoney conversation about a book, we start having a real conversation about what’s actually happening. And you know what? Suddenly my engagement shoots up and we start to have some real contact. Now Tim starts to voice his concerns about how we’re going about this and we share our doubts and worries and puzzles about each other.

With the unspoken, spoken we make what feels like a more convincing plan of what to do next. And paradoxically, by giving voice to my lack of engagement, I become engaged.

Ooh err. Who would have thought it?

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