While camping at the weekend I read a rather interesting book which has provoked some thought.
The book was called The Tipping Point and, for the benefit of those who may not have heard of it, explains how things become popular using a kind of viral epidemic model. Sounds thrilling eh? Well I found it fascinating for several reasons: 1) It made me think about what type of communicator I am, 2) It made me consider the concept of cool and how I engage with it (or not, as the case is more likely to be), and 3) How Tipping Points relate to mission and evangelism.
Sounds a bit much for one post so I might spread it over a few. Hopefully, with the above to remind me, I will come back to the subject later with some recollection of what I want to say.
So, what kind of communicator am I?
Having discussed this with Sister, we agreed that, by the nature of our upbringing, we are both natural connectors, having a wide circle of acquaintances in many contexts. We grew up on a University campus, so there was a pretty constant turnover of people, particularly at church. We also had a holiday home we went to regularly, getting to know lots of people there. At church now, I will probably know the names and enough details to smalltalk successfully (mostly) with nearly all the people there, while Mr Farli knows only about half a dozen people.
A maven is an expert, someone who people come to for advice on stuff. Now I am not much of a maven, except in a very few areas like where to get the most books for the least money, or how to achieve something on a computer (mail merge is my particular speciality here – anything can be made easier with mail merge). I certainly like being an expert – it is good for the ego to be called in to help someone. It may, however, be bad for the soul for me to get too bigheaded about this.
I am not a salesman, (although I did try and sell double glazing once in a moment of poverty – it did not go well and I only lasted 2 hours) but I could probably do with being more salesmanlike – “a charismatic person with powerful negotiating skills” (from link, above). Something to ponder there, but I will come back to it another time.
So, anyone else read it? What did you think? What sort of a communicator are you?