Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Interesting Finds: May 24, 2006 PM edition

Gretchen at the Happiness Project has some excellent advice regarding how to make a good first impression. Some of the items on her list include:

  • ask questions and follow up on people's remarks; and in doing so, focus on opinions and feelings, not just facts

  • try to find common experiences or interests

  • share observations about everyday life

The rest of the list gets even better. If you've been stopping by here long enough, you may recall that this kind of "connecting" is very congruent with the things I've been preaching with regard to genuine curiosity.

There are a couple of things on Gretchen's list that push my previous observations to the next level - for example:

  • mention some vulnerabilities and laugh at yourself

  • don't dwell on the minutiae of your life, especially annoyances

  • at least at the start, focus on positive comments, not criticisms or complaints

Your next click should be to head over to Gretchen's and check out the whole list.

Though it was focused on a different topic, this list also reminds me of a conversation with a colleague of mine in the UK this week on what it takes to work effectively with business partners. Our list sounds very similar (though a lot shorter):

  • Build trust early by sharing your objectives, concerns, and vulnerabilities

  • Understand your partner's objectives, concerns, and vulnerabilities so you can support them

  • Work hard to achieve a win/win/win scenario (ideally, you win, they win, and your customers win)

  • Be prepared to share the risk with your partner - that means taking on some of their risk, not just transferring your risk to them.

  • Be prepared to share the good things, too -- revenue, glory / credit, account information, etc. -- the rewards will be far greater for you both in the long run

  • Make sure there is a long run by working hard and continuing the open communication, even when things don't go as well as expected

It's easy to hold back in relationships because we freak ourselves out with the thought of losing control, being judged, being hurt, being "tricked" or other kinds of scary things. Start by opening up and taking a few risks - nothing ventured, nothing gained.