Welcome to my ClassyTip for this week which focuses on:
- There is Value in Being Well Informed – Tip #22
Are you a charming dinner companion, and an interesting guest at a social event? Do others gravitate to you during business conferences? You are, and they will, if you’re a well-informed person.
I want to let you in on a little secret – you don’t have to be Einstein smart to be well informed. The key is to spend some time reading each day. In some cases you’ll just scan an article; and in others, you’ll focus on more details.
When we’re in a rush or under stress it’s easy to slip into the habit of ‘reading’ the paper while our mind is thinking about something else. The result, we’re not using that time productively. The words we’re scanning slip right through and out of our minds, not even stopping along the way.
In order to remember what we read and become better informed, we must actively focus our attention on the newspaper, the magazine, or the computer screen as we do our daily reading. In that way we’ll absorb what our eyes are seeing.
I have a quick tip for you, especially if you’re in a business or technical career: spend some time each week reading a well-written novel. The creative writing style will energize your thought process. You’ll not only enjoy the mental break from more ‘technical form of writing’, but it will also come in handy when you’re carrying on a casual conversation at some unexpected moment.
What should you read?
Are you ‘up-to-date’ on current affairs? The Arts? How about sports? Your community? I know some topics are more interesting to each of us than others, and you will tend to gravitate to these more easily. But don’t neglect the topics you have less interest in.
Why? Because these topics may be of great interest to other people you’ll be coming into contact with, such as your boss, your clients, your co-workers, or even your friends. Being able to carry on a good conversation on a topic of interest to the ‘other person’ makes you an excellent conversationalist – And, the person everyone wants to be with!
So let’s begin scanning those stories in subject areas we may not naturally be drawn to. In time, these stories will pique our interest and when that happens, we’ll naturally start reading that area of the newspaper or magazine more frequently. Soon we’ll find we have a "working knowledge" of a much wider range of topics. And surprisingly, without a great deal of additional effort.
When reading, it’s beneficial to regularly use more than one source, as this gives a broader perspective, and perhaps different points of view. This is not necessarily to change your opinion on a subject or topic, but rather to afford additional insights into other people’s opinions.
I’m not suggesting you become an expert in all areas, unless you’re from one of two groups:
Group 1 - Those who only require three hours sleep per night and therefore have four extra hours a day more than the rest of us
Group 2 - Those who have photographic memories and can remember details, then recall them at a moment’s notice.
If you are fortunate to be in these groups, we may call upon you to explain in detail a theory the rest of us only have a vague notion about! For all others, expand your knowledge on different topics a little bit at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be well informed!
The classy person spends the time necessary becoming informed on a variety of topics. This knowledge not only makes the person a good conversationalist, it provides her/him with the ability to ask good questions of others in the group, in order to engage everyone in the conversation.
I'm Looking forward to sending you another of my ClassyTips next week. Until then, have a great week, and don't forget to visit my Forum where you can ask your questions on 'Becoming the Best You Can Be'.
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