I have a running list of ideas that I intend to turn into published blogs but, realistically, I end up staring at it with each passing day as I devote my time to client needs, my farm job, work around an old farm house, doing yoga, reading books, playing with my dog, and appreciating the company of friends, family and my significant other.
As a marketing professional, I know the importance of blogging and social media, yet you'll see my blog and Facebook page lie inactive for weeks at a time. If you choose that lack of activity as a reason to not work with me. I can live with that. I've come to terms with it and life is going on. With that out of the way, you now know why I didn't write this months ago and understand that it's not a response to any recent political news.
On to the juicy bits.
There is something that appeared on my "Topics to Write About" list over a month ago. It's at the very top, just above "Make Your Own Trends" and "Nice Guys Finish Last", the latter of which I added in the wee hours of the morning after waking up from a strange dream. Harnessing creativity is a beautiful thing.
So the phrase at the top of that list reads "Ask Qs". "Qs" of course, in this case, standing for "questions."
Ask more questions.
This topic initially appeared there from a marketing perspective. It's a motto I personally keep in mind when working with small businesses and it's something I encourage my clients to do to better understand their customers, even employees. Then, the longer the topic sat on that list, which is actually a sticky note attached to the screen of my desktop at this very moment, the more my thoughts evolved. This topic isn't just applicable to the business world. It really has application across the board. Throughout the world.
For everyone. Everywhere.
At first, I thought I was coming to that realization possibly in light of what's unfolded in America over the past few months. Feel free to dissect my opinions and actions and find a relation. But I think it was inspired more by my observation throughout the course of time, or at least the past 10 years. In addition to upholding that motto in business, I've been observing more closely how people converse (myself included). Many people are having conversations to solely spew out their own words. I caught myself doing this more than I'd like and have since made a conscious effort to ask more questions.
Let's be mindful.
I'm not about to get into politics and I don't look down on people who choose the back and forth banter. I don't look down on any party. I don't look down on any type of person. I simply ask that everyone, everywhere, from this point forward make a valiant effort to ask more questions.
Next time you are in conversation with someone - be it an agreeable topic, a civil disagreement, or a violent discussion (I don't hope for this one but, hey, they happen), give this a try:
- Take a second before your response.
- Let the other person finish their sentence.
- Think about what they said.
- Ask them a QUESTION about it.
- Continue the conversation.
This doesn't mean you can't state your opinion.
Your opinion should always be heard. Your knowledge should always be shared. But it's a two-way street no matter how we look at it. In terms of business, having a better understanding of your customers/employees/advisors/etc. will NEVER be a bad thing. And the same goes for the world. Let's put our egos aside, ask more questions and try (like, really try) to understand why people act the way they do or think the things they think. Let's try to understand where our neighbors are coming from before we bash that place, ignore that place, or even before we state any type of rhetoric.
Well, that's all the time I have for you today. 10 minutes (I time just about everything). If you want to talk about this some more, you know how to reach me (see below).