Dialogue: A discussion between two or more people or groups, esp. one directed toward exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem. Two or more people. Get it?
Ever been at some get together and someone that you don’t know starts making small talk? At first it feels pleasant enough, given that you don’t know a lot of folks there, but then it becomes clear your trapped. There is no introduction, no acknowledgement and no regard for personal space. Your own efforts at introduction go unnoticed as they veer off into their life story and then some.
You wonder how close you are to the punch bowl to pick up this type of traffic. If I just walk away will they notice? After all, you’ll probably never see this person again. Hopefully.
Successful dialogue is usually based on common interests. Otherwise, it’s a speech. So how do you know if you have any common interests if you never even inquire? If you don’t even know who you’re talking to?
You have become a drag on someone’s consciousness and something to be avoided in the future. Even though these ingrates don’t understand they’re getting the gift of you. How can that be?
If you’ve ever been trapped by one of these insensitive room evacuaters you will certainly feel that old familiar rash coming back. The older I get the less patience I have for this type of trespass. I am at the age where I can use chest pain and get away with it. And I will. I could always pretend to faint but I worry the wrong person will try to give me mouth to mouth.
Now that we can blah, blah, blah our asses off to anyone at anytime, on line and in line, sensitivity to another’s world view and interests should always be considered. Always. Unless you just want to hear yourself talk. As my mother once shared with me, “I love you but not everyone is going to feel the same way.” Ain’t that the truth.
Believe me, I’ve cleared enough rooms myself to know when Elvis has left the building.
At this point I usually try to provide some examples of how this type of behavior destroys on line dialogue in the business world but I won’t. I’m sure you see the similarities and dangers inherent here. Always try to ask more questions than you answer. They’ll love you for it.
So don’t stand near the punch bowl and if you don’t know who you’re talking to … don’t.