Are you the person in the room that is interesting or the person that is interested? I just finished a book called: “Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone” by Mark Goulston. I encourage you to read the book, for a number of reasons. One: it will make you think differently about your employees, team, and co-workers. Two: it will make you think differently in your personal life. Three: it will remind you that we rarely listen. All three combined, if we only listened more our work and personal lives would be transformed.
I will give you an example that is shared in Goulston’s book. Do you know at Christmas time when you send out your Christmas cards? Are you the one that writes a long rant about all that you have done that year? All the promotions you received, possessions you gained, and trips you have gone on? Do you ask the recipient of the card how they are doing? Do you do anything to remind them how much you care about them, or want to connect with them, or is it all about you? Goulston talks about how much we are interested in ourselves, or how interesting we are, then in being interested in others. He writes:
“If you want to have an interesting dinner conversation, be interested. If you want to have interesting things to write, be interested. If you want to meet interesting people, be interested in the people you meet—their lives, their history, their story. Where are they from? How did they get here? What have they learned? By practicing the art of being interested, the majority of people can become fascinating teachers; nearly everyone has an interesting story to tell.” Page 56
I love, love, love this. If we all spent more time being inquisitive and interested, we all might also feel more listened to and heard. We all have our own story to tell, but so does everyone else. Like the vastness and uniqueness of a snowflake, so are each of our lives. What if we could be students to all the teachers in our lives? I know I have work to do. While I am an information nut, love learning new things, am constantly researching anything and everything, and love finding solutions — I could be more interested in others.