Learning to Be Curious

July 30, 2017

The quality of your questions depends on the quality of your thoughts.

I hope you'll read Brooke's Be Curious challenge because it was deep and meaningful.

My thoughts are random . . .
I'm curious about personalized license plates.
Can you guess mine?

I'm curious about the back story to this sign 
posted in a Lewistown, MT gas station bathroom.  
The room had seen better days - I hope.

I'm curious about the 2017 solar eclipse.  This video from Oregon shows the best diamond ring!
In Vegas we had rain and cloudy skies in the morning, but I did see a perfect image of the partial eclipse here in my swimming pool.   

I'm learning to be more curious about people.  I'm fascinated by them and what they think and why they do what they do.  So, I wonder . . .

Is it easy for you to carry a conversation? 

Are you a babbling brook or the Dead Sea?

Do you know a loquacious individual always ready to make a connection? It could be at the grocery store or in a waiting room.  They make friends wherever they go -- just call them Yellows and be glad they do the talking for both of you.

I used to be quiet and reserved as a child making social situations uncomfortable.  It's a challenge to engage a White personality.  When Mr. B gets a glazed over look or turns his head, I stop and wait for him to come back before I continue.  I don't want him to miss anything, right?

I'm working on being a better conversationalist, one who can show they are genuinely curious and interested about the person in front of them.  Because I am.

My limitations are obvious, so I have a 3-part plan.  It's actually very easy. 

1.  Listen to Learn
Drop the word "I" and ask questions about their interests.  Everyone likes to talk about themselves, right?  Except a White personality.  Resist the urge to think ahead to a response.  It usually consists of a personal opinion - forego it.  If someone wants it, they will ask.  Instead, listen to respond with another question.

2.  Pay Attention
Maintain eye contact - It seems like common sense, yet how often do we let our eyes drift.  Maybe we're not comfortable.  If you look right between someone's eyes, they will think you are looking into their eyes.  Try it.  Avoid the deer-in-headlight look, though.  Keep body language open - Arms uncrossed and relaxed, hands open, nod occasionally and smile.  

3.  Defer Judgment  
Don't interrupt.  Allow the speaker to finish their thoughts before asking more questions. 

On second thought, it isn't so easy, is it?  I'm still learning.

I'm pretty excited about a new addition to my morning routine.  Are you curious?  I'll let you know what happens  . . .

Thanks for listening!  I enjoy good company.



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