Memorable Moments: Why He Wasn’t Clicking In With Us

By Jack Limpert

I saw an interesting story in a science magazine and noticed in the author’s note that the writer lived in Washington. Always looking for talent, I called to ask him about doing a piece for The Washingtonian and he agreed to come in and talk.

When he arrived, I brought him to our editorial conference table where we were joined by Ken DeCell, a senior editor who knew more about science than I did. We began to talk about stories and the writer seemed to speak a little haltingly and I had the feeling he wasn’t clicking in with what Ken and I were talking about. After about five minutes, Ken and I looked at each other as if to say, this isn’t going anywhere.

But we talked another five minutes and then Ken and I looked at one another with the same realization: The reason why this writer wasn’t clicking in with us was because he was about twice as smart as we were and he was trying to find common ground with us.

And he went on to write a great story.

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