The bigness of small talk

February 24, 2014 by in category Archives with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Archives > The bigness of small talk

OK, maybe not all small talk.  But if you are having a business meeting with someone you haven’t met or don’t know well, it’s big.

The convention that the American businessperson (or whomever) who wants to cut to the chase and avoid the traditional chit-chat—sometimes a trait associated with non-American cultures and can be seen as a ‘waste of time’—is surprisingly short sighted.

Here’s my example and my insight:


I recently overheard a half of a phone call between a manager and his freelance hire on a project.   (Yes, the intimacy of cellphones in public spaces).  They knew each other, but not well; it seemed early in the project.  And they spent about 10 minutes of their opening conversation before “getting down to business,” going over the Superbowl, which had just occurred.   


And I realized how illuminating these oblique conversations could be, how revealing, how much information was presented.  You found out how each one presented their ideas, responded to the other’s comments, explored issues, shared information.  You got a sense for how they spoke, how they listened, how they addressed problems—in conversation as well as the ones on the field.


It’s how you say what you say, how you respond. How you judge, work, think—your ‘general cognitive ability,’ beautifully expressed in this article about what Google looks for in hiring. In the article, the head of hiring tries to articulate what’s important, noting that credentials, grades, honors are all trying to be markers for something within, not things in themselves.  They aren’t the point, they’re the product, and are meaningless without the ‘beef.’


Within publishing, writers sometimes ask if awards help sell a book.  Well, yes they can—but I also want to say, “You have it backwards.”


Things (books, people, films, whatever) often get an award because they are exceptional.  So an exceptional, fabulous story may get an award, but it doesn’t get bought because it got an award, it gets bought because it’s fabulous.

That’s also why some stories can get awards, but not get sold—because the judges may have wanted to reward or acknowledge something exceptional, perhaps something groundbreaking, or courageous.  


But by virtue of its very exceptionalness, it may not be very commercial.


So it can be worthwhile to listen between the lines.


Isabel Swift

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

#Me Too

Buy now!
#Me Too

A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

Buy now!
A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

CITY OF BLAZE

Buy now!
CITY OF BLAZE

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

COWBOY KARMA

Buy now!
COWBOY KARMA

DANGER MUSIC

Buy now!
DANGER MUSIC
FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

GIRL IN THE MIST

Buy now!
GIRL IN THE MIST

HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

Buy now!
HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS

ILONA’S WOLF

Buy now!
ILONA’S WOLF
INTIMATE RELATIONS

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

SAVAGED SURRENDER

Buy now!
SAVAGED SURRENDER
SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection

STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

Buy now!
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

Buy now!
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

Buy now!
THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

THE LIFE OF RILEY

Buy now!
THE LIFE OF RILEY

THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

Buy now!
THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

THE WOULD BE MOMMY

Buy now!
THE WOULD BE MOMMY
THIEVES: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
WHO’S THE FAIREST? A Sisters Grimm Anthology
#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

CLEAR INTENT

Buy now!
CLEAR INTENT
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

DARK WINE AT DUSK

Buy now!
DARK WINE AT DUSK

DEAD BLOW

Buy now!
DEAD BLOW

FOR A GOOD PAWS

Buy now!
FOR A GOOD PAWS

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

Buy now!
HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

HER COWBOY KING

Buy now!
HER COWBOY KING

HIDDEN BETRAYAL

Buy now!
HIDDEN BETRAYAL

HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

Buy now!
HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller
OFF THE RAILS: A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories

ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

Buy now!
ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

REWRITING THE PAST

Buy now!
REWRITING THE PAST
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SHADOWS AT DAWN

Buy now!
SHADOWS AT DAWN
SHORT and SWEET’S FAMILY ALBUM

THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Buy now!
THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE CONSPIRACY

Buy now!
THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

Buy now!
THE DECEPTION

THE DEVIL’S CARESS

Buy now!
THE DEVIL’S CARESS

THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

Buy now!
THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

Buy now!
THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE

Buy now!
THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIDGE, NEW YORK, 1930
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN

THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

Buy now!
THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

TRACKING SHADOWS

Buy now!
TRACKING SHADOWS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

    ×
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

    Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

    >