Are You Interested and Interesting?
Angie Morgan, March 25, 2019
I have zero doubt that the vast majority of professionals go to work with the intention of adding value to their colleagues, their team, and their organization.
They may put a tremendous amount of effort into owning their job description and being technically proficient in their role. But, I often wonder how much time they invest in these two critical, value-add qualities: being interested and interesting.
Here’s what I mean.
As a leader, you should be interested in:
- Your colleagues, their lives outside of work, and learning about what motivates and drives them
- Your organization, its industry, and how it makes money and/or achieves its goals
- Your craft and the trends that are influencing your role
- The other teams and departments in your organization and how you all work together
- The opportunities for new approaches and any barriers to success
Being interested in your work, the people you work with, and the process for which the work gets done allows you to anticipate future needs and take initiative where appropriate.
Committing yourself to being interested also allows you to be interesting. When you’re open-minded and curious, you’re exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. You suddenly have more thoughts to contribute and knowledge to share. You have greater awareness of what questions to ask, insights to offer, and recommendations based upon what you’ve been discovering. This allows your input to be, well, interesting and valuable to the decision-makers in your organization.
If adding this type of value is important to you, you might be wondering where to start. Easy. Start by asking questions with an intention to learn.
Asking questions with an intention to learn is not:
- Asking questions to show what you know
- Asking questions to impress
- Asking questions for the sake of asking questions
It’s just to learn. Simple enough, right?
So go forward into the week being interested … your expressed interest will, in turn, help you be a greater contributor in the weeks ahead.
My best, Angie
PS I’d love to hear from you … when you’re trying to express interest in getting to know someone, what’s a great question to ask? My go-to question is “Are you reading anything good right now?” Post your thoughts on our Facebook wall.