Monday, January 12, 2009

Schmoozing Impaired

Schmooze. To chat idly or gossip.

- The American Heritage Dictionary

My father was never much of a schmoozer.

All of his children were taught three things:

1. Be honest.
2. Keep your nose to the grindstone.
3. Don't give any alibis.

Schmoozing never entered into his strategies. I suspect that he regarded it as a fancy way of goofing off. If he knew how much a brief phone here and a meeting for coffee there could contribute to long-time efficiency, he never let on. That may have been so obvious to him that he deemed it unworthy of mention, especially to children who seemed addicted to sloth.

Those of us who grew up in households where tales of the Great Depression were common, learned early on that there were grasshoppers and ants and when winter arrived, it was better to be an ant. We have to overcome this almost genetic aversion to small talk in the workplace. We need to remind ourselves that time devoted to getting to know others and letting them know ourselves is usually time well spent.

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