As a naturally curious person, I ask a lot of questions. I want to figure out how something works or why it behaves in a particular way. I am sure it annoys some people, but it’s something I will never stop doing.
Today I’m writing a reminder to myself to ask more questions, but of a different kind - about people. As an introvert, I can hold conversations with people, but if I don’t know the person well, it takes effort. I can make this easier by asking more questions about them.
It seems obvious. Let the other person do the talking - and as an added benefit, I learn more and develop the relationship. But currently, I will only ask a question if I am interested in what they have to say next. My brain is only thinking 20 seconds out, not about a long term investment.
Conversations and relationships are not all about me. It’s a two-way street and both parties get to express themselves, learn, and connect. The reward comes over time with built trust.
As an example, I don’t think I’ve ever asked an acquaintance or co-worker, “Do you have any plans for Thanksgiving?”. It’s a national holiday, it’s important to a lot of people. In the past, I’ve only talked about it when it related to me.
There are countless other questions I haven’t asked. I’d like to change that. Relationships are input-output functions. By strategically putting in more effort, I expect to increase their value.