I don’t know about you, but small talk often drives me crazy. It goes something like:
“Hey, how are you?”
“Great, how are you?”
“The same. What’s new?”
“Oh, you know, working hard, not playing enough. You?”
“Things are great. Just got a new Lexus.”
“Really, that’s great.”
“Well, great to see you.”
“Yeah, great to see you and catch up.”
I’ve often said that I’d rather endure a mild form of torture than be tortured by inane conversations, such as this example.
Our shared experiences, pains, and possibilities are a much richer tapestry from which to draw from when it comes to conversations. Every dialogue is an opportunity to connect deeply, share generously, and learn and grow from the experiences of others. This could be at a dinner party during the holidays or a chat over coffee in the breakroom.
Practitioners of Radical Accountability embrace conversations as an opportunity to make meaningful connections instead of treating them as superficial, drive-by “shooting offs at the mouth.”
Does this mean you have to spill your guts every time you speak with someone? Of course not. I’m suggesting that every opportunity for human connection is our chance to make a positive contribution to one another that is mutually beneficial.
This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Engage in more Big Talk by treating every dialogue as an opportunity to make a meaningful connection with your fellow human beings. Even if it’s just a brief conversation, ask yourself, “What can I offer or contribute to this person based upon what I’m hearing from him or her?”
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