“Be More Interested Than Interesting”

Be more interested: Listen.
cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Bindaas Madhavi: http://flickr.com/photos/mkuram/5961100771/

Originally posted at The Wejr Board blog.

At some point in the past year (for a variety of reasons) the how, the why, and the when of social media slightly changed for

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me.  I have been reflecting a ton on the purpose of social media to me -

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both professionally and personally (see Social Media in Education: Who Is It Really About?).  I have been thinking about HOW I read online (unfortunately, often just scan) and HOW I interact with others. I have been thinking about the purpose of social media as it pertains to my learning and my life.  I have altered the amount of time I spend learning from and with others online.

Over the holidays, one of the books I read was Mark Goulston’s “Just Listen: Discovering the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone”.  Among the many things that resonated with me in this great read was that I realized in the past few years, I have spent too much time trying to be interesting online and less time being interested offline (and online).  I have spent so much time communicating, learning and connecting that it has distracted me from the DOING both in my school and in my life outside of school.  I also know this is all a part of my continuous learning journey to be a better leader, educator, and person… to me, this is growth.

“The measure of self-assurance is how deeply and sincerely interested you are in others; the measure of insecurity is how much you try to impress them with you.” — Mark Goulston

Some people have asked me which single word defines my goals for 2013.  Although I do not generally make

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new year’s resolutions, I believe that the word that has driven me to be better in the past year and into this year is: FOCUS.  In addition to spending more focused time with my family and in my school, as well as in my personal and professional learning, I need to focus more on LISTENING and being INTERESTED.  I will continue to share interesting things that I read and the successes we are having at Kent School but I will work harder on being more

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interested in those around me.

“If you want to have an interesting dinner conversation, be interested. If you want to have interesting things to write, be interested. If you want to meet interesting people, be interested in the people you meet—their lives, their history, their story.”  – Jim Collins

Related post: Listen With Your Eyes

@chriswejr

9 comments for ““Be More Interested Than Interesting”

  1. Ethan Sumrall
    January 28, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Well Mr. Wejr, I found that your blog has really opened my eyes to being the same person online as I am in real life. I should try and make my blog true about who I am and what my thoughts are on subjects. I believe that this post should be viewed by many in the U.S.

    • January 28, 2013 at 4:07 am

      Hey Ethan – thank you so much for stating that. I have realized that my professional and personal lines on social media are now blurred and I think that is what works for me. I really think it is important that we do share who we are in social media – and the people who have done this have taught me so much as there is more trust and a better relationship. My social media presence has evolved and, at times, I have wondered about the purpose – much like everything, we grow with it and reflect so it continues to work for us. I need to go backwards a bit to focus more on the people rather than the content. Thanks for chiming in.

  2. January 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Very important focus in this technology age we live in–thanks for your wisdom.

  3. February 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you for this post. It has a powerful message. Sometimes I spend more time “consuming” than “producing” online because I feel that I’m not “as interesting” as the next blogger, whoever she or he may be. I think I have to take on a different persona online than who I really am as a person because many readers may not know me and so I have to attract their attention. Have lots of bells and whistles, and that sort of thing. At the same time, I find this kind of mentality in conflict with my way of thinking and so I am often pulling back rather than pushing through to make my own distinctive mark, that while quiet and unobtrusive may hopefully make a connection with whoever reads what I write. Make sense?
    Elisa

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Makes total sense… this push and pull si what I am struggling with. I think I am finding what works for me but I still sometimes get caught up in the distraction rather than showing real interset in those in front of me. Also, the push and pull of listening and speaking is a greater challenge online as we often don’t know the when and the whom we are engaging with. There is a challenge to balance humility with statements that grab attention. All this makes for additional layers of challenges.

  4. Tim Fraychineaud
    February 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Great post.

    I find myself trying to think of something interesting to post in reply……

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