Ever been accused of misreading a room?
I have. Misreading rooms is one of my unique selling points. Those close to me say it’s my superpower.
Which makes me well-endowed to share these two tips for misreading rooms.
Let’s say you’re at a Spring cocktail party at some swanky suburban house in a residential neighborhood with lots of trees. Near the make-shift bar, a cluster of men are blabbering about the golf match they played earlier that day, lying about their scores.
Barge in on them and say “hey fellas, what do you think of Sammy Sportface’s take on sleep apnea? He published a blog about it a week or so ago and everybody’s buzzing about it.”
The golf gang will collectively wonder what you’re talking about. In their own minds in silence, they’ll ask themselves if you realize they were enjoying BS-ing about golf and had zero interest in talking about an embarrassing, socially uncomfortable topic even though they all know have the condition.
You will have misread the room. You obliterated an enjoyable conversation by plowing into an unrelated and awkward topic that no one likes talking about even when alone behind closed doors.
As you cause them to scatter to disparate corners of the home to escape you, walk away and say “Gotta run, fellas. Man am I psyched to hook up with my sleep apnea machine tonight in bed.”
You’re on a work Zoom call with 25 co-workers many of whom you don’t know. Your boss is on blowing wind about the latest corporate survey the top brass wants all of you to fill out.
Suddenly, they’re pretending to be interested in how each of you is feeling about their work situations, what’s bothering each of you, how the corporation can make you happier at work, and why the Great Resignation has caught on worldwide.
You then blurt out: “Hey boss man, how come our company’s diversity and inclusion program doesn’t have any special meetings to lift up the men who work in this company? Does it seem all the meetings are for everyone who works here who isn’t a man?
Boss man says: “Let’s take that off-line.”
You say: “But boss, you’re asking us to tell you how we feel and I’m asking a question that I think many of us have feelings about.”
Boss man says: “We can take that off-line.”
When boss man tells you he’ll take the matter up with you off-line, that’s a guarantee he’ll never take it up with you off-line. It means he doesn’t want to talk about what you want to talk about. He’ll pretend you never raised the topic.
Pat yourself on your Johnson. You misread the Zoom room.
Not to be continued…
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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