What I have noticed about curiosity and networking!
Over the years I have come to realize that the one thing that really great Global Networkers have in common is a keen sense of curiosity.
If you have ever been around little children, you will notice their intense sense of curiosity about everything and everyone around them. They are always exploring their soundings. Uninhibited, they ask questions and connect with others, especially if those others are different from them, they want to know why!
It is this very same sense of curiosity that I have noticed in every great business networker. Being curious seems to attract people and it sets them apart from everyone else. It is never limited to their networking; in fact, I believe it operates in all areas of their lives.
Yes, that’s what I said, curiosity. These are people who are curious about the world around them, their sense of curiosity about people seems to attract the world to them. They genuinely want to know more about the people they are meeting with, the people they sit next to at the airport, at a local coffee shop, or at an International Conference.
They don’t collect business cards and add them to their database, they collect people and add them to their lives and their networks. They build relationships with the people they meet and they always want to know more, more about the person, their business, what inspires them, how they do what they do and how they may be able to help their newly formed relationship and friendship.
They always seem to be drawn to new and different things, new people, and new situations. They are inquisitive and they understand the value of asking quality questions and then listening intently to the answers. They don’t always talk about themselves, because they prefer to get to know the person across from them. After all, they find you more interesting than themselves.
That sense of curiosity leads them to discover more about their world. They stretch the global boundaries of their world; and have passports just in case the opportunity comes up to stretch those boundaries and connect to their network.
Think of the last time you met a new person, were you the one that was curious, or was the person talking to you curious to know more about you and what you do? Were you doing the talking or the listening? Did you genuinely want to know more, or were you just ready to move on the next person in the room?
Watch what children do when they meet each other for the first time. They smile, they ask questions, they give information to one another and they find common ground to enjoy each other’s company. Even if one or both of them are shy it won’t be long before the curiosity will get the best of them and they will begin to build the relationship. They are not stopped by color of skin, race of the person, religion, or class status. They just want to know more about the person sitting in front of them.
This is the very same attribute that top networkers display every time they meet a person for the first time. They are curious, without the preconcieved notions about race, religion, or class status. In fact, those are the very things that they will be most curious to learn more about. These are the people who have built business networks that span the world, it is their curiosity to learn more about the world and people around them that drives them to connect globally.
It is not my intention to say that all of us must build global networks, but it is my intention to inspire each of you to be curious about the rest of the world. Look beyond the boundaries of your city, state, and your country. Find ways to reach out to those who are different than you, live where you do not live, have heritages that you do not know, and build relationships with them. Your life will be rich, and your connections to the world will be invaluable.