“What’s your story?”
While on vacation a few weeks back, this was the question one of our trainers asked as many people as she could – other travelers, hotel staff, restaurant servers, tour guides. She wanted to know what their lives were like beyond the mere transaction, underneath the “Hello”, “How can I help you?” and “Nice weather, isn’t it?”.
The response she had was always the same: people were surprised to be asked, but happy to share about their lives. And most of all, they were pleased someone wanted to know about them.
We’re all the same in the end, we like people to be interested in us. We feel good in the glow of the spotlight, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable at first.
It isn’t just a question for strangers either – co-workers, bosses, friends, parents, children – we all have stories we keep tucked away until someone takes the time to care enough to ask.
Not only does this simple question make people feel special, but it helps us get to know others on a deeper level. It’s an exercise that allows us to build our people skills. We gain a better understanding of why other people think and act in certain ways and the different things that motivate us. This helps us learn how to interact with all kinds of people to build stronger relationships.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It’s not the length of life, but the depth.” If you take the time to dig a little deeper with others, you never know what you’ll uncover. And at the very least, you’ll have made someone feel special.
A Team Human Conversation
Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.
- When was the last time you had an inside-look at someone else’s life? How did this impact your relationship?
- When was the last time someone truly asked you about your own life? How did it feel?
- How can you commit to learning more about others?