Are you being Interesting or Interested?

Whether we’re in a leadership role, meeting new friends, or attempting to create a relationship with a new client, we try to get people to like us.  We understand that people would rather partner with people they know, like, and trust.  So what do we do to make that happen? Most of us start looking for things we have in common and then we begin talking about our life experiences, our achievements, and all the great things we plan on doing. We make ourselves out to be an interesting person. Many people believe that if they’re interesting enough and can really communicate their experiences and objectives to people, they will be more liked.  This type of belief couldn’t be further from the truth!

The mistake many of us make is that we keep trying to be interesting in a world where everyone is trying to be interesting! It’s like going to a sales networking event where every sales person there just wants to tell you about what they do and their amazing product.  No one at the event cares, because they all want to relay the same message about their product.  What a funny thing to see! I’m amused by it now, but it hasn’t been that long since I was the one at these events “trying” to be interesting. Believe me, this writing comes from many personal failures and learning experiences. I’m just more aware today than I was before and I hope this article raises awareness in you.

When people are trying to be interesting, they’re actually looking for someone to be interested in them. As a matter of fact, it’s very safe to say that all of us want and desire for others to be interested in us, we all want to be interesting. What I’m suggesting is that we become the interested. Imagine how much you can stand out by listening and asking questions because you truly want to learn about the other person.  Anyone you’re speaking with has had multiple conversations that day where people told them about their own weekends, plans, children, cool things they’ve done… Also, they may have been the person who told others about similar life experiences.  However, few were actually interested and most only listened so they could tell their story.

This is the world we live and compete in! There is tons of great news about the information I just relayed, there’s tremendous opportunity for all of us to build relationships, improve our leadership abilities, and increase our sales revenues just by becoming interested in others.

In my writing from a few months ago “How to become a better leader and get more people to like you!”  I wrote about becoming a FRIEND. Here is a little snippet from that blog. You can read the whole piece here:

“If we follow the pattern of successful people like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Napoleon Hill, and many others, we learn that no one has ever achieved success alone. They always had great people around them who helped them along the way, yet many of us don’t have great people around us. Here is one way we can influence people to join our “team” and to come along with us on our journey to success. Become a true FRIEND.

F – Focus on your agenda and not mine

R – Respect you as a person and always reach to understand your “why”

I – Introduce valuable ideas and people to you

E – Expect nothing in return and always Exceed expectations

N – Nurture you in every way I can and intentionally find ways to do so

D – Discover the things that are important to you by being genuinely curious about you

By becoming a FRIEND, you will make people feel special and take them to new heights in a world where most people focus only on themselves. In return, they will follow you. Not because they have to, but because they want to. People gravitate to places where they feel good about themselves and if you can go out of your way to make someone else feel good, they will gravitate towards you! To take the first step towards becoming a FRIEND, become genuinely curious about the person you want to influence and attract. Find out everything you can about them through conversation and asking great questions.”

There are many books, courses, and lessons on effective listening, yet many people still don’t realize when to stop talking and start listening. Our goal when being interested should be to learn as much as possible about the other person and the message they’re relaying. So here is something my mentor John Maxwell said which really helped me see this point and I hope it does the same for you.  John said “I’ve never learned a single thing while I was speaking.” It’s impossible to learn if we’re not listening, I mean truly listening. Most of us think listening is about a clever response or trying to find something we can relate to and share a similar experience with the other person.  That is not what it’s about at all.  You should be listening because you want to learn everything you can about the other person.  Even if you hear something you can relate to, keep it to yourself! I know it sounds crazy, but think about it. If your goal is to be interested and you start speaking about your similarities, are you being interested? Or are you trying to be interesting?

The second you learn how to become a FRIEND and start listening to learn and not respond, you will notice the improvements in your relationships, leadership, and sales revenues.

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“Live your purpose”

Eric Konovalov

The Goal Guide

Comments 4

  1. Anna
    July 28, 2016

    Great message, Eric!

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