Off the top of your head, you can probably list the names of 20 people you consider to be interesting…
Maybe you could fill a page with names, if you really gave it some thought. What are the characteristics of interesting or charismatic people? Is there any advantage in becoming more interesting? From a networkers perspective, the answer is a most resounding – yes!
We all know that people do business with people they know, like and trust. Ask yourself, would you want to spend time with someone who you find interesting or someone who bores you stupid?
The answer is obvious. An interesting person attracts people to them and most likely expends a lot less effort promoting and selling their product or services or fast-tracking their career.
Think about the last networking and/or social function you attended. What people do you recall having a conversation with? More importantly, what do you remember about those conversations?
Many interesting people basically repeat little pieces of trivia – things they found interesting and assume others will, too. Basically they teach what they learn. This doesn’t include gossip, of course, only good news stories.
Interesting people are often gifted at telling stories. Unfortunately, at social and networking functions, you often have to give a shortened version of an event and this may take practice. We all know people who can embellish a story and stretch the truth. In the networking world, stretching the truth is totally unnecessary and very often backfires. More often than not, it’s a great story just as it happened. It’s the storyteller that makes the story come alive with passion and enthusiasm.
If you are really serious about improving your personal skills including your communication or social skills, lets consider story telling. Would you agree that people recall stories, especially when they are positive, entertaining and trigger emotions – happy or sad. By the way, if sadness has been triggered, the great storyteller has a way of turning a negative into a positive, even if it is just to state how lucky we are at that moment.
So lets look at simple strategies that you may consider introducing into your life to become a more interesting person. ( The basic reason for doing this would be for you to have a more interesting life, more fulfilment and a broader circle of friends. Once trust is built, who knows how many of those people may be interested in furthering your career ).
Always be sincere and give without expectation. People can intuitively sense a fraud a mile away. We all know those people who are just being nice to you because they want something. They are rarely interesting – basically because they are only interested in themselves and what they can take, not in what they can give.
In today’s competitive marketplace, many employees get caught up in the – work long hours, go home, crash – work long hours, go home, crash – cycle. When they do get a day off, its all they can do to drag themselves out of bed and many have to really force themselves to go out and do something remotely social. Life is like exercise, once you are actually at the gym, you feel great. It’s just getting there that takes the effort.
Research your interests
The Internet has opened up the information world. All we have to do is know how to access that information. Search engines make that incredibly easy for us. In particular, you may like to visit Ask Jeeves – www.aj.com. You will find that Jeeves can answer just about any question you can create, no matter how obscure – and all in the space of nanoseconds.
I have an interest in taking photos of sunsets and sunrises and as I travel, I get to see many examples of nature’s magni-ficence. One night, I collected a batch of photos and was a little disappointed with them. Other than doing a photography course, I wondered if, “Ask Jeeves” might have a suggestion for me. Sure enough, after typing in a query, “where would I learn to take better photos of sunrises and sunsets”- I was directed to an article: ‘How to take better photos of sunrises.’ I kid you not! Ask Jeeves is definitely worth a visit.
Take a few moments now and write a list of 20 things that you would be interested in doing if you had a month off and an unlimited budget. Really let your imagination take hold. Your list may include some old hobbies, new interests, maybe even more of what you are currently doing.
Move out of your comfort Zone
Many people sit back and wait for life to happen – they wait a long time! Proactive people are the ones who make life happen.
Attend a special course
So many people think that networking has to be work related. In actual fact, some of the best contacts you will make, will be in a social or special interest situation.
Time poor people may be reluctant to commit to long-term studies. However, many colleges regularly have short-term special interest courses to suit our restricted availability. What a great way to network!
You are learning something new, improving your skill, making new friends and the by product is – you are becoming more interesting.
John Lennon summed it up with his quote: “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” Interesting people are not born. You won’t find ‘interesting person’ listed in the newspaper birth notices. However, they are easy to spot at networking functions. They are the ones that everyone wants to be around.