Stop Fooling Around

“Let’s get serious.”

So…what…we’ve just been fooling around the whole time?


Those three words, codified through social niceties and small talk, are often said before official, issue driven, conversations and negotiations begin.

Typically, they are used as a way to separate people from each other and to categorize those who seem issue focused and decision driven—from those who seem distracted and lazy.

But, this is a false equivalency: equating being “serious” with being focused, driven—and by extension—successful in life in all the ways that the folks in the other silo are not.

And all this siloing through language only serves to inflate individual egos, and to deflate the potential for a positive situation to develop between parties who may be viewing the same issues through different frames.

We’ve got a better idea: just get started with the large talking and move right past the short hand, small talk, to the issues that matter.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: