Archives for posts with tag: Conversation

‘Can you just move a smidge to the left for me?’

‘I’ll take a smidge of milk with my tea please.’

What exactly is a smidge? It’s hardly an agreed unit of measurement, either by width or volume. I use it from time to time and always assumed it was a quaint olde English word from the 16th century, probably coined by Bill Shakespeare, who seems to have more coinages to his credit than extant plays.

It’s actually a shortened form of the equally arcane smidgen – the origin of which is uncertain, but you can also spell it smidgin or smidgeon – and American English in its origin.

WordPress wasn’t happy with smidge or smidgeon, giving them the red dotted underline of shame. All the more reason to use them.

Fabulous.

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The latest argument with Mrs D – or, as I like to call it, a robust discussion – reminded me of how important it is in both our personal and business lives to communicate well.  Have you ever been in a group dynamic (dinner party, dialogue for 2, meeting) and noticed how often people interrupt each other?  How often somebody asks a question and the next person chooses not to answer it, and asks their own question or makes a statement pushing their own view or agenda?  Annoying, isn’t it?

I’m no saint, and it’s something I have to work on all the time, but I try to respect the other person and wait til they’ve finished talking, and then either answer their question or further the topic in some way.  It’s about respecting the person and what they have to say, and contributing something that gets you both nearer to where you need to be.  It’s basic marketing isn’t it?  Listen-absorb-consider-contribute.

OK, so sometimes people will ramble, have nothing of worth to say, or love the sound of their own voice, and you need to work with them a little.  But generally speaking (pun intended), it’s a case of ‘I know you’re hearing me, but are you listening?’