A friend was talking about a difficult conversation.

“I was about to go into my usual script with this person,” he said. “You know, complaining, combative, cranky.”

“Luckily,” he continued, “I was ready for it. I was able to ask a couple of questions about how the other person had arrived at his conclusions. It changed the whole tone of the conversation.”

That’s right, you can stop a brain hijack. You can listen, even to THAT person. A few simple questions can get you out of jail.

But to really listen like a pro, it’s important that you know why asking these questions works. It’s not a gimmick. No, it’s curiosity made useful.

Curiosity doesn’t mean that you agree with the other person. It doesn’t pretend you have no opinions of your own. Instead, it temporarily sets those opinions aside to be interested in the other person. It’s one more way of showing that you’ve oriented yourself toward others. That they matter. That their ideas matter.

Go even deeper. Curiosity is a posture of humility. Humility says, “I don’t know everything here. I could learn something new.” Humility is the start of any learning and any great relationship.

This is the kind of person you want to be. Curious. Humble. A learner. Not just because it will help you listen like a pro. But because it’s the best way to live.

We’re cheering you on.

Be bright