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Tag: conversation


When you do a job, what’s next? Where are you? Are you accessible for follow-ups? And more importantly, do you follow up? When I think of accountability, I think of someone who takes the time after a job is done to evaluate their performance and pursue a continuing dialog. I know that person is going to back up their work, and I know that I can trust them to be there when the shit hits the proverbial fan.

A task is not complete until it has been reviewed, so follow up with your work. What should change next time to make the task more streamlined and efficient? What are the processes to build or adjust that will automate aspects of the task and free more time? Ask questions about the end results and the workflow experience with your colleagues and clients.

These are important aspects of leadership. Add them to your arsenal. Only you can make the required effort to add that final luster to a job that leaves everyone feeling acknowledged and valued.


Small Talk II – What If You Can’t Leave

Yesterday I wrote about getting out of small talk situations by simply not allowing the conversation to reach that tipping point. Get out, and get out quick! But sometimes it’s a little stickier than that.

Sometimes you cannot just turn and leave. Let’s say you’re sharing a table at a dinner event. Stop with the small talk. Wouldn’t the evening be more enjoyable if you went straight for the BIG TALK instead? Instead of the “where are you from” story (which I have personally grown awfully tired of recounting), ask for the “what are you passionate about” story. I mean really passionate. What is the one thing that you could talk about for hours if you wanted to?

Maybe they’re hesitant. No matter – tell them your passion. Really dig into it. Let yourself get excited! Give them an energy to match and a sea of information. As you’re spouting all of your lore and weaving your tales of intrigue, chances are that something will strike a chord with them, and they’ll come back at you. Then – BOOM! You’re having a real conversation. One that you may even enjoy!

If no chords get struck, then you’ve still gotten to talk about that thing you love talking about. The score remains you: 1, small talk: 0


What tips do you have for navigating the murky seas of chatter? Do you enjoy small talk? Have you mastered the art? Let everyone know in the comments!

Small Talk

I hate small talk. I can’t do it. I am not good at feigning interest in something I am really not interested in. If that’s selfish, then I guess I’m selfish. It does present me with a bit of a dilemma however. I am a local business owner. I have to interact with other people all the time. I was afraid that when attending networking events for instance, the small talk would crush me. Well, guess what. It didn’t. Want to know why?

I stopped making small talk.

Small talk as a phenomenon only happens when you should have already ended a conversation. We feel an obligation to adhere to some arbitrary minimum conversation length, and sometimes you run out of things to say before that time is up. Enter the small talk. It just seems to be a waste of everyone’s time.

When you meet someone at a networking event or just out in the world, talk to them, but with intention. Ask questions about what they do. Tell them what you do. Try to draw a connection between the two. Then, if you’ve got nothing, say how nice it was to meet, and pat ‘em on the back. Then you are out. They are looking to make a beneficial connection too, and if there is nothing there, they will appreciate your bowing out before that awkward lull. You know the one… … …

I can hear you right now. “Josh, that’s all well and good, but I’m at a wedding reception table with these people. I can’t just leave!” Well have I got news for you…

Tomorrow: “Small Talk II – What If You Can’t Leave”