I was taking a trip down blog-memory lane and found a post from a few years ago on how to be a StoryLearner. It’s a good reminder/”how-to” for paying considerable attention to the people around us:
To consciously and intentionally develop a deep “fascination” with others at work, try this life-long practice (adapted from The Radical Edge)
1. Write down the names of one or two key people internal to your business (colleagues, employees, staff, managers, partners, associates, etc.) and one or two key external people (customers, vendors, suppliers, etc.)
2. List everything you know about each person—beyond the “function” he or she serves. Assess how much you know or don’t know about each as a human being.
3. Ask each person to tell you one important story or event from his or her life. Or look for an opportunity to find out more during your next conversation. Ask each to share with you his or her number one business/career/work challenge.
4. Ask if there’s some way you can be of service—something you can do to help with each person’s challenge. Even if that person declines your offer, he or she will always appreciate your asking.
5. Pick one or two more people and do it again.
6. Repeat until you run out of people—for the rest of your life, in other words.