The premise of Ask is that you will have more meaningful relationships by putting aside your agenda and focusing intently on others. That’s easy to say, but hard to implement.
I think I’ve figured out why.
We are internally focused
I sometimes ask audiences to raise their hand and honestly tell me if they agree with this statement: I believe what I’m saying is more important than what I’m hearing. Most hands go up. That’s the first problem.
We are consumed with our own thoughts, anxieties, goals and fears. We are, by default, the center of our own universe. It takes no effort for us to be self-focused. It happens automatically.
The converse is true: It takes considerable effort to show a sincere interest in others. As I demonstrate in Ask, making that commitment pays big dividends, but it’s still a struggle to overcome our natural inclination to believe our agenda should predominate.
On a primal level, our fascination with what we are saying, and our relative lack of interest in others is ironic. We already know our information.
But when we ask questions, learn their “story” and follow-up appropriately, almost everything we hear is new. We’re learning something and adding to our life experience.
Once you break the habit of always “going first”, you’ll see immediate collateral benefits. Being interesting is difficult and stress-inducing. Being interested is easy and a stress alleviator. There’s no need to entertain or charm. You are under no pressure to tell “your story”.
Your sole goal in any interaction is to be sincerely curious about the other person.
You’ll find this new approach is like having a weight lifted from your shoulders, especially if you’re an introvert, You may even look forward to social engagements.
A more significant collateral benefit is how others will react to you. You’ll start to receive comments like these (which may not have been your prior experience): I so enjoyed our conversation. We’ll have to stay in touch. I found your insights really helpful.
It’s likely you didn’t even have a bilateral “conversation” or share any “insights”. Yet, the interaction with you will be so unique and special, the other person will project these qualities onto you.
That’s the benefit you’ll find in Ask.
I need your help
My new book, Ask: How to Relate to Anyone, will be published October 8, 2020. It can be pre-ordered now on Amazon, in all formats. Ask transforms lives, as those of you who have read it can attest.
Here’s the favor: Can you send out a message on your social media accounts like this?
I highly recommend Dan Solin’s new book, Ask: How to Relate to Anyone. It has the potential to transform your relationships and your life. It’s available for pre-order now on Amazon.
Just cut and paste or edit to your liking.
Together, we can make a difference. I can’t thank you enough. If I can reciprocate, please call upon me.