Sometimes I play a game.
I meet you for the first time. I enquire about you. I volunteer nothing but equally evade no enquiry about me. Each thing I find out about you is a point to me. Deduct a point for anything you find out about me.
I played it yesterday with a new acquaintance.
In under an hour of casual acquaintance I found out:
Where he lives
Where he grew up
What he does for a living.
Where his business is.
Where he was educated.
How many kids he has.
Of what gender and ages.
How he got into doing what he does for a living.
How he had a business, employing 180 people.
How that business went bust.
How he lost his house, his car, everything else he owned, and his marriage.
How a consortium re employed him to run a crucial bit of the business he previously owned.
How that affected his personal confidence.
What his new suggested equity buy in scheme is like and how that restores his confidence.
What his product range is.
Which products are doing better than others.
Which products are rated best for quality.
What his factory utilisation is.
(By a bit of mental arithmetic therefore) what his turnover is.
What his distribution chain is like.
How many people he employs
What the brief is for his new sales person starting tomorrow
What that person's background is
What his sales growth plans are
What his son's name is
What his children's interests are
What he is passionate about.
26, maybe 27 points.
Deduct one for "I am not an insolvency practitioner".
25 or so, then. There or thereabouts.
I wonder what this says about the art of conversation?
Dale Carnegie advises that if you want to be thought of a s a good conversationalist (win friends and influence people), simply ask people about themselves. They're only to happy to talk about that most fascinating of subjects, seemingly endlessly, and seemingly without any interest whatsoever in you. So don't expect anything else.