Relationships matter: It’s a phrase that’s worth repeating because of all of the unique and fascinating people we encounter in our daily work and personal lives. Our interactions with others can provide a rich treasure for success not only in the workplace and client development but in our personal lives as well. Unfortunately, we’re all susceptible to losing sight of this simple insight as we move through our hectic schedules and activities.
Just Listen, by Mark Goulston, provides some practical tools to prioritize relationships through the art of active listening. After rewiring yourself to listen effectively, he encourages you to develop relationships by being more interested (in others) than interesting (that is, talking about yourself). Some simple questions to ask others in support of that objective include:
How did you get into what you do?
What do you like best about it?
If you had it to do over, what would you have done differently? What is something that would have saved you a lot of hassle in your career?
What are you trying to accomplish that’s important in your career/ business/life?
Why is that important to you?
Developing a genuine curiosity in others can transform a superficial acquaintance into a friendship. And while taking the time to develop those daily interactions with others may result in fewer acquaintances, isn’t a deeper relationship a better measure of success?