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To be interesting, be interested
“We have two ears and one mouth.” - Epictetus
A few months back, I heard a podcast with Kevin Kelly, an author and co-founder of Wired magazine. One quote has stuck with me:
“The more you are interested in others, the more interesting they find you.
To be interesting, be interested.”
Such a simple concept.
There’s a very strong correlation between people I like to talk to and people that ask good questions. They generally bring two characteristics: 1) active listening skills and 2) insightful questions.
For me, these both require genuine curiosity to be sustainable. A stance of humility that acknowledges how little we know and how much we have to gain from keeping an open mind and asking the right questions.
Speaking of which, here’s a great question to pull out at the next dinner party: “What do you know better than anyone else in this room?” That can unlock a fascinating conversation!
For a few more ideas, here’s a list of other questions to consider.
“Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers.” - Socrates