Mr. Michael suggested me to connect on LinkedIn. Michael is a corporate and personal growth coach by profession. He offers me a weekly summary of the most interesting insights from books he has read. He lets me know what the important books say without reading them. Why should I bother my strained eyes when Mr. Michael can briefly list everything important? A tempting offer. But books are like Miss Renata.
Renata’s one of my favorite clients. She’s chatty and she’s also late. She’s always the last to arrive. Her talkativeness delays even those she’s late for. This time she’s so chatty that she won’t make it to our project meeting at all. To the relief of all the meeting participants the project meeting will take place without Rena’s stories, and therefore without embarrassment, quickly and efficiently. After 15 minutes everything is done and the project participants smile awkwardly at each other. There is nothing left to discuss and nothing left to talk about. And so it’s time to go home.
There are deadlines, there are next steps, but something is missing. Usually, at the end of a meeting with Renata, the silent copywriter David speaks up to give a key idea, out of nowhere. But today David is out of ideas, he has nothing to say. The whole project may have a visible structure built from deadlines, tasks and team members’ names, but the invisible dark matter of the project is built by Renata.
Let them, the talkers, talk. It doesn’t matter that they don’t say anything that isn’t obvious, that wasn’t mentioned the last time and that is off topic. They’re the ones kneading the dough. They feed our heads. They create a corpus of collectively perceived content. And only from this substance will the silent copywriter fish out the brilliant idea.
When we do a questionnaire, one of the basic rules of question wording is briefness. It is expected that a brief style prevents influencing the respondents. Any extra text as a polite phrase is an unwanted stimulus that distractes us from the truth. But often we are not looking for the obvious truth, but for an idea. And then talkativeness is spot on. Respondents generate the best communication and brand ideas when presented with a small piece of literature, a three or four paragraph description of a concept. It is only in the process of reading a long concept that a dark field is created. And only from this solid material laid in the unconscious will a truly original idea surface.