Naked Babies

Silence is golden; speech is silver. ~ American Proverb

My brother-in-law visited the past week from New York City. He comes, usually, every August to stay a week or so with us here in part of the heartland of America, southwestern Ohio. That’s when the corn starts coming in and the tomatoes are ripe on the vine and he times his visits (I suspect) so he can eat like a king at our harvest table. We grow both.

I call it the Midwest; he argues that we’re not far enough west to be called mid-anything. Be that as it may, he is living in that peaceful twilight between the years your kids are grown and out of the nest and the beginning of the tsunami when they have grandchildren and those grandchildren become yours to keep a portion of some of your days. Or all of your days. Or every other day, whatever it may be.

Entering the room and gingerly turning over a naked doll-baby discarded and laying face-down on the floor with the big toe of his right foot, he sardonically declared, “Dead.”

I laughed just as the thing started babbling, googling, and burping, and leaving out sounds that normally are reserved for the nether regions of the body, all thanks to two D batteries in its back that are not yet dead.

“What did that thing cost?” he asked, warily eyeing the lifeless form on the floor that refused to stop emitting sound once prodded.

“Oh that’s a 50-cent Goodwill baby. If you go on Sundays, everything is half off if you’re over 50,” I answered.

Nodding at another smaller doll-baby sitting quietly in a chair across the room, he asked, “And that one?”

“Oh, that one cost about 10 bucks on sale at Kohl’s. That’s a store-bought baby. It doesn’t talk.”

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“Doesn’t talk?” he asked.

“Yeah, that’s why it cost more,” I answered with a wink.

And it occurred to me that this might be a good lesson for sourcing and recruiting.

How many of us think we have to talk our prey to death to get results? There are still a good number of people out there who think a good salesperson is a good “talker.” A good salesperson, like a good recruiter or sourcer, is a good listener and worth many times their weight in gold over a babbling fool.

Do you feel you have to do a lot of talking when you’re sourcing or recruiting? Why?

Maureen Sharib has been a “Socratic sourcer” her entire sourcing career; from the moment she first picked up the faxed list of Silicon Valley high-tech companies that was her target list to “phone source” in 1996 to today she has instinctively followed this method of investigative sourcing using (mostly) the telephone.  She is a proponent of sourcing as a synonym for success and envisions the craft moving away from a dangerously drudgery-paced life-form existence to an exciting investigative/competitive place within organizations where practitioners co-exist within a framework of market research, human resources, and C-level future planning. She owns the phone sourcing and competitive intelligence firm, Inc. You can contact her at Maureen at or call her at (513) 646-7306.  If she’s not on the phone she’ll pick up!