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Talk to Strangers: How Everyday, Random Encounters Can Expand Your Business, Career, Income, and Life by David Topus

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Chapter 16

The Importance of Authenticity and Curiosity

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but with nine lives they might have caught a lot of mice along the way. Genuine curiosity—that desire to know—is the lifeblood of good relationships. Showing interest in another person—interest that’s wrapped in a genuine desire to discover more about him or her, to get to know that person—without judgment, is perhaps the single most critical ingredient in successful relationship building, and certainly in random connecting.

Questions are a pivotal part of random connecting. First, the answers your new acquaintances give you provide the information that you need to assess if, and how, they can be of value to you—and you to them. It also allows you to unlock the gate to conversation; questions show that you are interested in the other person, they make the other person feel valued and appreciated, and of course, they give you the insight you need to determine what potential exists through this person.

To be truly curious, you have to get out of your own world and into the other person’s. Truly curious people don’t spend a lot of time or effort thinking about their own personal interests; they focus on what interests others.

It is very difficult for others not to feel regarded, recognized, acknowledged, and appreciated when you are attentive toward them. Yet despite this fact, I am constantly struck by the lack of curiosity among people, especially when they first meet. It’s almost as if interpersonal ...

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