This week I struck up a conversation with a new coworker, Nicole, in the office. She is a seasonal employee who is only with our firm for tax season and I heard through the grapevine that she has started her own business. I asked Nicole about it and her face lit up when explaining the details of her venture. I found her line of work fascinating, too - it is a niche area that I've never even considered (marketing/PR assistance for churches). Just like last week, our conversation was proof that when I listen, I learn.
As you know by now, these principles work wonders outside of the office, too. This week I mustered up enough courage to take Tyler (my two-year old) to Target. Tyler takes "active" to a new level. I'm usually lucky if he will stay in a shopping cart for two minutes. This week was no different. Before I knew it, Tyler was out of the cart and looking for trouble. He quickly found a stack of plastic Star Wars cups (12 cups to be exact). He sat down at the end of an aisle and started lining up the cups in a row. Then he stacked them all together again. And so on. Instead of talking, I observed. I saw an opportunity and I seized it! I asked Tyler, "do you want to play with the cups in the shopping cart?" Of course, he did! He was interested in them! And, lo and behold, a peaceful shopping trip ensued for Tyler and Mommy! (I also went on to buy those 12 glorious cups -- the best $12 investment I've made in a long time!).
Talk in terms of the other person's interests, yes. But don't forget to listen and observe, too. You may just find your life is a little more peaceful as a result.
|Tyler and his cups|