You know some of the most interesting and insightful things I learn come from the oddest of places. It also comes from being curious. Asking questions. Listening to others.
I read the book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. In fact, here’s a link to help you on that journey!
The book is a bit old school, which, I must admit, I kind of like. It was originally published in 1932. But what I love about the fact that’s it’s old is that is still so darn relevant now.
A number of things stood out to me while reading this book. One of the biggest of which was how much we love the sound of our own voices and how many times we say “I”. Admittedly, whilst I read through this book, I found it a little confronting but alot enlightening.
The reason I mention this book in the context of being curious is as a result of this idea of being mindful of how many times we say “I” and how many times we just keeping talking and perhaps not listening as much as we should.
Curiousity can foster great things. It can foster learning (of course), creativity, opportunities and relationships.
There’s really no reason to be afraid of being curious. If you’re trying to make an impression on someone where you’re trying to sell yourself or your services, asking questions can seem like your admitting that you don’t know something. This might be against the general tenor of what you’re trying to say which might be something like “I’m awesome, hire me/refer me work”. BUT what I think we need to focus on here is the fact that people love talking about themselves.
Being curious does not mean you are uneducated, unskilled or stupid. It means you are curious. It means you wish to learn more. It means you want to develop your understanding. It means you want to listen to the person you’re asking questions of and you’re wanting to learn more about them and what they do.
It also gives a much better understanding of what that person does, who they are and where they come from which gives you a much better standing to tailor your pitch, your sell, your approach to problem solving to that person in a way that will get their attention. You can learn more about where someone is going if you know where they’ve been. It informs and gives context and background to a person or their problem.
If someone assumes things about another, they’re going to risk getting it really wrong and damaging a relationship before it’s even had a chance to begin, let alone blossom!
Be genuinely curious by asking questions and genuinely interested in the answer that follows.
We can learn so much from others so start asking questions.
The cat will be fine.