To Be Or Not To Be. Interesting? Or Interested?
To Be or Not to Be. Ah…that is the question. We all know that. So what’s the answer? Or is it just plain rhetoric? Do we need to be interesting? Or do we need to be interested? Do we know the answer? Then why do we ask? Ah, but that, of course, is another question!
In “The Master of ANDOR” we discussed inclusive and exclusive choices. We saw that inclusive choices open up possibilities and ought to be the types of choices we make most of the time. However, when it comes to standing on convictions, then choices become more exclusive in nature. Being a “Master of ANDOR” implies knowing when to exercise which choice.
So, is the question of whether we ought to be interesting or whether we ought to be interested exclusive or inclusive? If you know me by now, you know what my answer would be. Anecdotally, it seems to me that more people think that they should be interesting when trying to establish rapport with a prospect in a business setting, whether that prospect is a to-be client, supplier, referrer, or perhaps just someone you want to get to know and be closely associated with. And so they go to great lengths cooking up interesting stories about what they do, the value they bring, and why the poor soul they’ve managed to get their claws on should be delighted at the prospect of inviting them into their sphere with arms wide open. Or arms wide shut, as it were! Yes, we all have been taught that we ought to be interested in the person we happen to be desiring to have in our circle of people we do business with, but how many of us can say with sincerity that we have that attitude all the time? No need to tell me, you know the answer yourself! If there is one thing I could change about the way we school our people, I would make it mandatory for every parent and/ or caregiver to ask a child at the end of the day, not that weary question “So what did you learn in school today?” but rather ask the child “So, what questions did you ask your teacher today?” Think about that for a while. Do you ask your child that question? Do you ask similar questions when you are with your business associates and prospects?
So, be interesting, or be interested? Both, of course! To be engaged, be genuinely interested in the other person first. As a person, not as someone you can sell something to! Ask him what he thinks about where his industry is headed in five years time, for example, or get his opinions on whether airships will replace surface shipping in the not-too-distant future and why. Then, if he is someone worth your time and money, expect him to ask you some pretty interesting and perhaps unnerving questions about yourself and about your business! When that happens, then that’s the time you had better be interesting!