When you are an entrepreneur or business owner it’s easy to identify yourself with your business. Whatever is going on with your business is going on with you. Not necessarily. We are more than our position, bank account, business, status, etc.
We live in a world where we are identified with what we do. I’m guilty of it, too. Because I’m always interested in finding out about people’s businesses when I meet them I ask - “What is your business?” While there is nothing wrong with that it does give a one dimensional view of a person. That stops me or anyone from finding out - “who is this person?”
So, how do we go about finding out about someone? We can’ just say - “Tell me all about you?” People will run for the hills. But if we become interested in the people we meet and ask in a polite and non-invasive way about what they like and don’t like, what’s the most important thing to them, what delights them, Why they do what they do in business, then we begin to know them.
There is a lot of distance between people in our culture. In some ways we seem very open and friendly but in other ways we don’t know one another at all. When we don’t know someone it’s easier to form opinions about them which may or may not be true. And since we don’t do anything to change that we may carry that opinion forever or until something happens where we have to change it. We do not easily change our cherished opinions.
We see a lot of that going on in our country right now. And we all know that needs to change to create a more peaceful society if we are to survive. So the answer may be to start in small ways. When someone asks you about your business you can also tell them what you love about it. That will help the questioner to be more aware of who you really are and make them more interested in finding out about you and from there perhaps forming a relationship of some sort instead of just the polite question before moving on to the next person.
It’s clear we need to change how we interact with one another and it has to start somewhere. When we feel like we can’t make a difference it’s the perfect time to start to get to really know the people you come into contact with. Your interest can change their day for the better. Connecting on a real level also changes how we see ourselves. When we make someone feel good we begin to feel good about ourselves. It’s such a simple and very powerful solution to a big problem and it rests with each one of us. It’s easy to do, we can see the results immediately and it gives us courage to keep on being truly interested in people as we see what a difference we make. That’s really all it takes.