Wednesday, October 28, 2009


"I want to be interested in what you're saying but to tell you the truth, it's boring. You just keep going on and on about the most uninteresting things...little things like - 'is it going to rain - how am I going to get to work if it snows - the leaves are clogging the drain on my roof' - WHO CARES? If you could talk about something that interests ME then I might be more interested in YOU.

Ask me a few questions once in a while - any question - doesn't matter - just something to get a few of my brain cells to light up. But don't ask me anything personal - I don't want to talk about anything personal. I also don't want to talk politics - I can't stand politics. And I'm not into sports so don't go there either. I don't'll figure it out."

My Reflection:

Dale Carnegie said that in order to "win friends and influence people" you need to be genuinely interested in them. Since most people don't give you their life's history, it usually requires some investigation. Asking questions to find out more about them is an art and not always easy to do so we often end up talking about benign things like the weather in order to fill in the gaps. Or, go through the "hi, how are you - fine, how are you?" routine. Again...another gap filler.

So, how do we ask questions without being nosey? Maybe it's the "genuine" part of being interested that's most important. I also find it very difficult to ask questions when I'm feeling defensive or angry about something - that's usually when I go on and on about my thoughts and feelings because I'm assuming I already know theirs. But, isn't that when I most need to understand where someone else is coming from? And how can I do that if I don't ask enough questions and be genuinely interested in the answsers?

What kind of questions do you ask?

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