Face time

孔子曰:「侍於君子有三愆。言未及之而言謂之躁,言及之而不言謂之隱,未見顏色而言謂之瞽。」
Confucius said, “When you are in the presence of a leader, you risk making three mistakes. To speak about something before the appropriate time is to be impetuous; to fail to speak about something at the appropriate time is to be evasive; to speak without observing the expression on their face is to be blind.”

I have no idea why the editors of Book 16 of the Analects decided that three is a magic number. Be warned: there are more such lists to come.

It’s never easy to know when to talk and when to shut up when you are meeting someone for the first time, particularly if they are more “important” than you. Probably the most practical advice this passage contains is to watch the person you are talking to as closely (and discretely) as possible in order to determine whether they are bored or interested by what you have to say.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *