This morning I ran across an article outlining five ways to expand your comfort zone, and this one jumped out at me: Compliment three strangers each day for a week. As the article says...
In order to do this one correctly, you have to become fully aware of the people around you...You also have to think of genuinely nice things to say. It is not enough to simply speak to three strangers, but to compliment them forces you to think about the person before you speak to them...Force yourself outside of your comfort zone so as to tell strangers that you noticed something good about them. You will make their day and your own. You may even find yourself with some new friends by the end of the week.
The line that really jumped out at me was, "In order to do this one correctly, you have to become fully aware of the people around you."
I've often heard it said that the people who are perceived as the best conversationalists are the ones who have mastered the fine art of shutting up and listening. More than that, it's the people who really engage and pay attention to what the other person is saying and where they are coming from.
That's all nice Curt, you may be thinking, but how does that help me in my career?
Simple. The potential in your career grows in direct proportion to the relationships you are able to build. In relationships you'll find the support, insights, and ability to open doors that will propel your career forward. And the seeds of relationship - whether the relationship is casual or deep - start with that focused awareness of where the other person is coming from.
Really paying attention to others has multiple benefits. At it's simplest it's just the feel-good factor. Everybody likes to be listened to. Everybody likes to feel heard.
On a more complex level, part of successful networking (or relationship-building, as I prefer to think of it) is looking for opportunities to help anyone you meet. That might be a helpful idea, or an introduction to someone you think they should meet, or sharing knowledge and know-how that would be beneficial to their journey.
But you can't help if you're not paying enough attention to discover where the opportunities to be helpful lie.
Which brings us back to why I think that line is so powerful and so potentially beneficial if you take it to heart. "In order to do this one correctly, you have to become fully aware of the people around you."
It was talking about complimenting people, but it's just as relevant and important when it comes to building the relationships that will support you and propel you forward in your career.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM