A few years ago, I had a job that involved listening to a ton of podcasts. (…)
The people who were interesting told good stories. They were also inquisitive: willing to work to expand their social and intellectual range. Most important, interesting people were also the best listeners. They knew when to ask questions. (…)
Here are the three things they taught me.
Listen, then ask a question
Stranger #1: Thing about my life.
Stranger #2: Thing about my life that is somewhat related to what you just said.
Stranger #1: Thing about my life that is somewhat related to what you just said.
Stranger #2: Thing about my life…
Really listen. Ask questions; the person you’re speaking with will respect your inquisitiveness and become more interested in the exchange. (…) Online, put this technique to use by pausing before you post. Why are you adding that link to Facebook? Will it be valuable to the many people who will see it? (…)
Tell a story
Shitty pictures of your food are all over the Internet. (…) Instead, think of your photo as a story. When people tell stories, they think about how to communicate the entirety of their experience to someone else. They set the stage, introduce characters, and give us a reason to care. (…)
Expand your circles
(…) Stepping out of your social comfort zone can be painful, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.
As you widen your social circle, work on your intellectual one as well. Expose yourself to new writers. Hit the Random Article button on Wikipedia. Investigate the bromides your friends chuck around Twitter like frisbees.
When you expand your social and intellectual range, you become more interesting. You’re able to make connections that others don’t see. (…)