“Curiosity is more important than knowledge.”
― Albert Einstein
In nearly all professional settings, including networking, there are six words demonstrate maturity, selflessness and a natural curiosity. They prove you can set yourself aside and be genuinely interested in another person’s life, work or passions. You know, authenticity.
And perhaps through these six words, you’ll find new ways to connect or advance your career. What are these words?
WHO Should I Talk to Like This?
Anyone. A stranger at a happy hour, someone you’ve asked to meet for coffee or even a random person you sit next to on a plane.
Everyone else knows something you don’t. Why spend the entire time talking? What will you learn… if you never listen?
Sample question: Who are some of your favorite clients?
WHAT Do I Ask About?
You talk about what the other person wants to talk about. Let he/she guide the conversation. If he says, “I like my job, but it can be tough at times,” then you come right back with “What makes it tough?”
Sample question: What kind of projects are you working on now?
WHEN is the Most Appropriate Time?
Anytime. People love to talk about themselves. In fact, they’ll probably give you as much info as you can handle. They think: “You’re curious about what I do for a living? Of course I’ll blab about it!”
Sample question: When did you decide to focus on that aspect of your career?
WHERE Do I Strike Up These Conversations?
Anywhere, but specifically situations where you could aid your career. Networking events, work conferences and job interviews are great places to give the six words a whirl.
Sample question: Where do you travel most often for work?
WHY is it Such an Effective Strategy?
With each question, you take the conversation deeper and build trust. Plus, if you two find a way to network further, the person is more likely to help because he likes you — and all you did was let him ramble on about himself!
Sample question: Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree?
HOW Do I Keep Up All the Questions?
You listen intently. You stay in the moment, absorb what the person has to say and come back with a thoughtful response.
Sample question: How did you start your own business?
In conversation, our instinct is to dive right in and say, “Well, I…” But not you… you’re smarter than that. You understand the power of Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
“WHY is this advice important?” you may ask. Grateful for your interest in my perspective, I would answer:
“When you focus on others instead of yourself, the world starts to shift in your favor.”
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News To Live By!
About the Author: Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons in the day’s top stories. His columns are regularly featured on The Huffington Post, Business Insider and Parade Magazine. Follow the blog on Twitter!