It is almost counterintuitive, but the best way to impress others may be to simply engage their curiosity rather than try to give them a lot of info about our accomplishments and ourselves.
The reality of human nature is that if you’re genuinely curious, you will be interested in the other person. This is obvious and simple, but it may be the secret to getting others to believe that you truly care. And by the way, in this ADD world, being curious about another person is actually unique and can set you apart.
Most of the successful businesspeople I interviewed for the book, THE CONNECTORS, no matter what their position, are curious – genuinely and transparently curious. And listening is their secret weapon. They are curious listeners.
It’s what a great listener doesn’t say that is so powerful. Have you ever been around someone that just wants to listen to you, wants to hear all about your day or your recent trip? Someone who is truly interested in you. Hmmm. I don’t think you find them very often. But when you do, they really stick out. The act of listening shows that you care.
An example of this is an entrepreneur I have worked with who runs a multi-million dollar data architecture firm. He is so skilled at listening that when I first met him it was almost uncomfortable. He gives such unwavering eye contact and his body position says that he is completely interested in what the other person is sharing. It certainly isn’t typical. But since he started his firm when he was 20 years old, he’s constantly been engaging in ‘investigative’ type work to find out more about the other person.
This concentrated, curious listening has served him well both personally and professionally. It is his unique ability to completely pay attention to the person he’s with that allows him to connect with others on a different level, be memorable and likeable. Ultimately, he credits this skill for helping him generate almost twice the number of sales of most of his competitors in the United States.
If you show an interest in listening to what others have to say, it could be easily inferred that you are a good and genuine person and maybe someone they’d like to do business with.
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