Be Curious at Work…and Life
“Are you a sports fan?” I asked the man on the shuttle between Boston and New York. He was reading a book about the Yankees versus Red Sox—always a great conversation opener anywhere on the East Coast. I then ordered the book on Amazon right off my Ipad! Whether you have the hard copy or you read on your tablet, having a book with you at all times could be a conversation starter. You never know. Be curious.
Walk by someone’s office or cubicle and find something to comment on to start a conversation. Of course be mindful of the time and be brief.
Be curious in life. When I see something that is interesting––a piece of jewelry or an interesting gadget, I might say, "Tell me the story about your _____." I have learned a lot and also created some great new connections.
In fact, I did this with a person I met who is in the diamond business. He was wearing the most amazing watch at breakfast and I asked him about it. It turns out that he “won” the watch by purchasing raffle tickets for a charity. “I’d never won anything before!” he said as we discussed the charity with which he is now deeply involved. It opened an entirely new area for our conversations and shared information. Now I am on the lookout for more information for him in my list of interests so that I can send it to him as a much appreciated way to stay on his radar screen.
What happened in this instance? First, I learned something new about him, I then received an education about his favorite charity, and finally I found a way to stay in touch with him by noting his interests and being alert for more information for him about those interests. When you ask people––even those you know well––about themselves, you learn new things, topics, and interests to file away and and store in your Information Bank about them when "life presents them". You can then share other opportunities and interests that come up. That is why I always collect what I call “vital information.” You never know when, how, and to whom you can pass it along and brighten their day.
You never know—reach out, and be curious. Deepen the relationships you have and begin the process of developing new ones.