conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Burning Down the House: Stop. Drop & Adopt.

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How social greases the gears of change

One way we begin to dispose of our sheltered and separatist clubs and churches and work is to talk about them out loud. When we start to tell a stranger about a sacred ritual inside the walls of our church, we stop and realize, “Wait—this probably sounds like nonsense.” And so we back up to start earlier with the “Why?” and “What for?” And then we drop the insider words and adopt common words.

Same with our work: when someone asks how we spend our day, we don’t use our office or shop-talk words. Most people don’t understand lingo of the workplace (especially folks in the workplace). So we stop. We drop the shortcut words in favor of the basic words used by the rest of the humans that speak our language.

And then we paint that ritual or work or favored topic in the best possible light. It’s a little rhetorical flourish we do without realizing. I want you to be excited by what excites me, so I talk it up. I punch it with bits of enthusiasm and look for ways and words that help you get the same vision I have.

Do what you must to pull in the stranger.

Do what you must to pull in the stranger.

Getting others interested by telling the juicy bits of what interests us is one of the basic ingredients of any social media. It also happens to be a basic expectation of story-telling.

What’s that?

You don’t have contact with strangers?

You only talk with other insiders?

Is it time to reconsider your circle of friends to pull in outsiders? There’s much to be gained from relating your passion to someone who has no clue what you are about.

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Image credit: Kirk Livingston

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Written by kirkistan

November 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

One Response

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  1. […] know in a way that engages the passerby is the challenge. That’s why I often use the metaphor of talking with the stranger or telling something to a ten-year-old. When eyes glaze or when they simply walk away, then you […]


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