Talking About the Weather – A Good Life Hack

When I was in London I talked to entrepreneur Josh Hanna about good places to live. We agreed weather is a big factor. "People always brush aside small talk about weather as just that…small talk. The thing is, there’s a reason people talk about weather so much. It truly affects the quality of each day," Josh said.

A few days ago I read The Big Moo, edited by Seth Godin, and I found it an inspiring collection of stories, tips, and beliefs around making your organization remarkable (summary here). One of the anonymous chapters discussed weather. It said talking about the weather is effortless and can at best act as a little bridge to further conversation, and other times just be an acknowledgment of a shared experience. It’s the seed of empathy. The author writes:

"Talking about the weather is egalitarian in its delivery, fundamentally inoffensive, completely accessible, no one is ignorant about the weather, even shy people are willing to share their feelings about the weather, and it’s hard not to smile when someone says, ‘Hot enough for you?’ "

I think about success consisting of overarching philosophies and tactical life hacks. This definitely counts as a life hack for social interactions. I’m sold.

4 Responses to Talking About the Weather – A Good Life Hack

  1. Chris Yeh says:

    Yet talking about the weather is so hackneyed–surely you can do better! Find out what really matters to the person, and talk about that.

  2. Ben Casnocha says:

    It is difficult to find out what really matters. My style right now, for example, is too interrogative…I would love for the first two minutes of each conversation w/ new person to be a total data dump. That’s why I like meeting people whose blogs I read. I’ve already met their mind.

    Talking about the weather may be hackneyed, but it can be an effective bridge to something else.

  3. Bill Hahn says:

    When the only open seat on the Blue Line on a 90 degree day is next to the guy wearing Doc Martins, sap gloves and swastica tattoo; weather is a good topic.
    Besides, with 107 degree range, Chicago actually has weather.

  4. Chris Yeh says:

    I’m not proposing to interrogate a guy as soon as he sits down, but rather to read and react.

    A simple “What’s on your mind?” is often enough to prompt a good discussion.

    And if he answers “White supremacy,” well, at least you know what you’re dealing with!

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