I am busy. Everyday I think about what I have to do and how I am going to get it all done. I am sure that sounds familiar. It is normal to think of ourselves. It is a good thing, because we are ultimately helping other people.....our kids, customers, civic groups, church groups......
Yet how often do we really take an interest in the people we interact with every day?
There are just a handful of people in my neighborhood that I know a lot about.
What do I really know about all the people in my office?
Take a quick tour of Facebook and Instagram and see how many photos are selfies?
It's not wrong, but it is instructive.
Dale Carnegie says that if we want people to be interested in us, we need to be interested in them. The most interesting people are the ones who are most interested.
My favorite story about Dale Carnegie is when he was a guest at a friends party and met a woman who had recently returned from Africa. He had always wanted to travel to Africa and spent the next few hours asking her question after question about her experience. After he left the party the woman he was speaking to made a point of mentioning to the host the Dale Carnegie was the most wonderful conversationalist. Dale confessed that he only spoke a few sentences while asking questions. She was the one that spoke the entire time.
She thought he was an interesting because he was genuinely interested.
I vividly remember my grandfather in his final years admitted himself into a nursing home because he knew he needed the help. He spent his entire adult life as a surgeon so that didn't seem odd. The most wonderful thing though was when I went to visit, the very first thing he did was introduced me to one of his nurses. He told me all about her family and children and how she liked horses just like I did. He probably knew more about her then many of her friends did. And that wasn't all, he knew as much about all of the doctors and other nurses taking care of him... And he was the patient.
After my visit, on the way out, the nurses at the desk made a point of saying what a wonderful man my grandfather was. It's true he was. And I have a better understanding as to why.
Become genuinely interested in other people.