to be interesting be interested

To Be Interesting, Be Interested. A Few Thoughts From Our President, Jeff Russell

This week, I am staying on the “quotes from way back and present” bandwagon because it really shows that some of these ideas are not new and have been around for thousands of years, literally. 

From Epictetus (who passed away in 135 AD): “In public, avoid talking often and excessively about your accomplishments and dangers, for however much you enjoy recounting your dangers, it’s not so pleasant for others to hear about your affairs.” 

From Dale Carnegie (shared in his 1936 classic How to Win Friends and Influence People): “To be interesting, be interested.”

So, what do these two quotes by two very smart men tell us? Focus less on talking about you and more on what others have to say. 

When you walk into a room, do you start a conversation and take a genuine interest in learning about others? Do you want to find a mentor? Are you surrounding yourself with people you admire and respect?

If you want to take the first step and answer yes to all of these questions, it’s actually pretty simple once you take the first step. Talk about them. Ask questions. Remember my message from last year about how to start conversations with strangers? The FORD Method. 

Here are some questions you might ask to follow the advice of Epictetus and Dale Carnegie: 

– Where are you from originally? 

– Did you always want to be a {enter profession here}? 

– What did you want to be when you were growing up? 

– Do you have a favorite hobby? 

– If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

– Do your kids play sports? 

You get the picture. Oh, by the way, remember their name too. 

These questions may seem basic, but they can be the launching off spot for awesome relationships, so give it a try! And it will also make you much more interesting. 

Life is good. – Jeff

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