Being InterestED Instead of InterestING

2024-04-05T10:07:51-07:00 April 5th, 2024|

On episode #42 of the LeaderImpact Podcast, Thanh Campbell discussed what he has learned in his leadership journey of networking and connecting with others. One concept that really stood out was when he mentioned being “interestED rather than interestING”, this conscious effort of focusing solely on finding out more about the person you are talking to rather than talking about yourself.

There is a great story that illustrates this idea. The Editor of Psychology Today was writing a book and as part of his research, he purchased a flight from New York to LA with the plan to only ask questions of the person he sat beside. He didn’t volunteer any information about himself and made the conversation all about his seatmate.

When they landed in LA, he had a research assistant interview the seatmate on the flight. Two interesting things came out of the interview:
1. The seatmate didn’t know the editor’s name, which meant that the editor did a good job of making it about his seatmate.
2. The seatmate said the editor was the single most interestING person they had ever met in their life.

This Editor, who divulged no information, left a lasting impression, and in his task to be interestED instead of interestING, he was found to be the MOST interestING man this person had ever met!

Too many times in our initial interactions with others we talk about ourselves thinking that makes us more memorable, when in fact, asking questions and finding out about the other person may be what will leave a more lasting impression. This does not mean that you can’t talk about yourself at all, just be sure to focus on the other person first and hear their story before sharing yours.

Jesus Christ may have been the most interestING person in history. The Bible describes many of his interactions with others and even though he had a big message to share, he started by asking people questions about themselves. In his advice to others, he shared that we should be “slow to speak and quick to listen”, “interestED instead of interestING”.

Why not try this out in your day-to-day interactions? It may foster stronger relationships and allow you to learn and grow from the diverse experiences and knowledge of those around you. Being interestED opens doors to new opportunities, broadens your understanding of the world, and enriches your life in ways that being solely focused on being interestING cannot!

If the spiritual things discussed in this post are new to you and you are curious to know more, please check out one of our LeaderImpact Groups for leaders. It is a safe place to explore and discuss life and leadership with like-minded people and find out more about integrating your spiritual life with your personal and professional life.