When you approach people with curiosity and humility, they feel validated and that leads to connection.
Each one of us is unique and has a gift. That’s a truism, and we know that. We also know that some needs we have as human beings are universal or at least nearly so. We all need food and water to live.
We need additional things to thrive: exercise, affection, and maybe even validation. Validation means that another person values us as human beings and for what we uniquely bring to the world. Some would even say that in a “me-centered” culture, where everyone is busily absorbed in their own lives and what they are doing, we hunger for validation.
Because of that hunger for validation, we will remember a person who provides it to us. Providing validation can be as simple as listening. Listening with true interest and humility is even better.
Curiosity drives interest: What does this person think, what makes him “tick,” how does she do that, what does he want to happen, how does she view the world? And people with humility understand that they don’t have all the answers and that each person they meet, each experience, has something to teach them.
When you approach people with curiosity and humility, they feel validated. They experience your interest in what they think and do and how they do it. Your interest tells the person that they matter to you. That person will remember you because you made them feel significant. They may also share useful or important information with you, perhaps even more than they expected to provide.
So that’s how you get luckier in business and life by adopting an attitude of curiosity and humility: Entrepreneurs can stack the odds in their favor that their interactions with diverse people will pay off over time. No one remembers an arrogant person who is so wrapped up in his own business that he fails to communicate to others that who they are and what they do is important to him. If you place yourself indelibly in their consciousness, though, because you let them know you value them, they will remember you when they, or someone they know, needs something you have to offer.
In the meantime, at the very least, you improve yourself as an entrepreneur by broadening and deepening your range of knowledge. Even if the knowledge seems unrelated to what you’re doing at any moment in time, who knows when exactly that tidbit of information will be just the one you need?
Rhett Power is Best-Selling Author, Executive Coach, Columnist at Forbes, Inc. & Success. Rhett Power co-founded Wild Creations in 2007 and quickly built the startup toy company into the 2010 Fastest Growing Business in South Carolina. Wild Creations was named a Blue Ribbon Top 75 US Company by the US Chamber of Commerce and named as one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing US Companies two years in a row. He and his team have won over 40 national awards for their innovative toys. He served in the US Peace Corps and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He now has a rapidly growing coaching and consulting practice based in Washington DC.