Express Sincere Interest in Others
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Do you know that person at the party who is constantly rambling on about him or herself, not giving anyone else a chance to speak? We all know that person, and the chances are many of us ARE that person. We may not realize it, but others sure do. It was Dale Carnegie who said, over 80 years ago, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Expressing sincere interest in others is one of the key elements of human relations. By expressing sincere interest in one’s appearance, qualities, history, stories, hobbies, work, family, or anything else closely related to that person, you are giving that person a sense of importance and well-being.
It seems almost natural that when you express interest in others they will express interest in you. People who are interested in you, become more interesting to you. It is a principle in psychology that has been known for centuries. This law applies relationships of any kind.
For most of us, most of the time, expressing interest in others is not difficult. Casual conversation usually leads to questions that one can ask about another, leading them to talk more about their interests or about themselves. However, at times it can be challenging to “force” yourself to express sincere interest in others. Expressing interest without sincerity is the same as patronizing. Here are some suggestions on how to express sincere interest in others.
- Ask questions about a person’s appearance. Do you like the person’s outfit? Haircut? Are they wearing any jewelry that you admire? Do they look like they are in good shape? You can ask questions about someone’s appearance without knowing them and without any previous dialog. This is a great way to begin a conversation.
- Ask a person, “So what keeps you busy during the day?” This is a very open question that can lead the person to talk about their work, family, hobbies, or just about anything. While they are speaking, listen for any common interests that you may share, and then ask more questions about those interests. This will keep the conversation interesting for the both of you while still allowing the other person to do the majority of the talking.
- Compliment. Offer the person a sincere compliment. This often leads to dialog initiated by the person receiving the compliment. A dialog that begins with a compliment is a positive and memorable one.
Remember that everyone is your superior in some way, and you can learn something from everyone if you just ask the right questions and do more listening than talking. As one who appreciates the value of learning, it should be easy to be able to express your sincere interest in others. When you do this, you will find yourself closer to success due to your improved relationships.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)