NEXT030 Being Curious, But In A Good Way!

Posted on : 14-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Mind Fodder



One of the skills I learned from a mentor Coach years ago was to be curious about another person instead of just assuming that I knew who they were and what they were about.  I’d often heard the suggestion to be curious of others if you are shy or have a low self-esteem and find yourself alone in social gatherings. Instead of dwelling on yourself and staring at your toes, become curious of the people around you.  And there’s a way to be politely curious and a way to be obnoxious.  Genuine interest in other people will help guide you through to know when someone is happy to answer questions (why they are at the same party you are or who they know there) and when they’re not (they give you a quick answer and no eye contact….move along!).

When I first got into technical recruiting years ago, I had no experience with the industry (technical writers and editors) and had no idea what recruiting even meant.  So I became curious. Curious about what my boss wanted, curious about the terminology being used much less about the technology itself and curious about the people that we were hiring and the clients we were hiring for.  Within a short space of time, I became very good at recruiting and I believe it was my curiosity to learn that  helped me.  I went on from that job into working my way up the ladder for another consulting company who hired all kinds of high level technical software experts. We hired people from all over the United States as well as the world.  Because of that, when a new hire would come through our offices to sign paperwork, etc., I would always ask them to show me on a map where they were from.  It was very interesting to me to see where people were from who lived in Europe, India, Canada, Australia, etc. and as I got to know these consultants as friends I learned more about their cultures and how they interacted.

Tonight, I took the Paul-dog for a walk (or he took me…) and waved good evening to a gentleman walking on the cross street.  He seemed happy to meet another neighbor walking and pointed to the sky commenting very happily and very rapidly with a strong Indian accent (I couldn’t tell where he was from in India…) but I soon caught on that he was complimenting the dark rain clouds that were piling up in the north and hoping that it would bring rain soon.  I responded happily that I hoped it would too and he beamed at me shaking his head back and forth in a happy Indian way.  Our interaction made my walk!

Granted, I am not curious about everyone out there—sometimes I’d just as soon be judgmental and call it a day!  But for those social situations when I may not know anyone, being curious helps me to get out of myself and learn more about my fellows around me.

How can you be curious today?

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