A listening technique to develop your curiosity
Think about why you might negatively judge someone? . . . You might not like the way they look, or what they say, or the sound of their voice. However, if you withhold judgement and get curious you can learn very valuable things from people you don’t like, from mediocre competitors, even from people you despise.
Oscar Levant said the following about people he despised: “Every time I see you – I have a fierce desire to be lonesome”.
Even from those despised people you can learn valuable things if you withhold (negative) judgement and get curious. Here’s one ‘how to’ technique to withhold judgement and get curious: Approach every interaction with the attitude that, ‘Everyone I meet knows something that I don’t know. My job is to listen long enough to find it (that information) and then use it’.
This attitude will help you withhold judgement and get curious with all people, including those you don’t like – because your intent is listening for something you don’t know, to produce better results in your life. (This attitude will also help other people perceive you, through your face, body and voice, as an engaged, interested listener).
Being curious is also related to learning faster than your competitors. Arie de Geus, the ‘global statesman of business change’ said, “your only sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace is your ability to learn faster than your competitors”.
Developing your curiosity will help you learn faster. A second ‘how to’ technique regarding curiousity is to ask yourself this question. ‘What questions can’t I answer about my field of endeavour?’ Paul J. Meyer, one of the founders of the personal development industry, said the reason that most people become bored with their job is that they’ve satisfied their first wave of curiousity. By posing questions to yourself about things you don’t know about your field of endeavour, you’ll rekindle your curiousity – and then go out and seek, find and use that new information.
Finally, negative judgement was discussed above, but what is positive judgement? Positive judgement could be explained this way. Just because someone has a very important job title, doesn’t necessarily mean they know what they’re talking about. In essence, this means you shouldn’t automatically assume ‘important’ people are talking sense. Withhold (positive) judgement and get curious about what they’re saying, before agreeing or disagreeing etc.