Looking Ahead Looking Behind

By: Todd Royer

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Looking Ahead Looking Behind

Have you ever argued with someone who's passionate about asports team? Or maybe their passion was for a hobby and youblundered into a discussion contradicting something they feltwas unassailable. If you argued, logic didn't really win theday. Passion just doesn't work that way. All the facts in theworld won't change a true believer's mind. The best you can hopefor is an agreement to disagree, or a truce of silence.

People have feelings about all kinds of things, not just hobbiesand sports. Learning to identify passions, both your own andothers, is a critical skill for career development. One of thetricks to understanding what someone else feels strongly aboutis to find out what they are looking forward to, and what theyhave done in the past. In other words, start looking ahead andlooking behind. This happens naturally in conversation. Whenpeople talk they tend to drift towards the future or back to thepast. It's a logical approach to feelings and yet, feelings arenot logical.

For example, last year I introduced my friend, Phil, to mybrother, Jack. As it turns out, my brother's a passionatebaseball fan and my friend's a part-time professional baseballscout for the Chicago Cubs. Once my brother learned Phil was aprofessional scout, the first question out of Jack's mouth was:how long have you been doing that? We talked for another ten orfifteen minutes with lots of detailed baseball questions, but itwasn't long before Jack again asked Phil: are you going down toSpring Training in March? In the course of fifteen minutes mybrother had questioned Phil about both the past and the future.Their passion for baseball was clear. By discussing both thepast and future of their common interest, they signaled thatpassion to each other.

You'll find it's the same with everyone else. If they havestrong feelings, whether negative or positive, asking about thepast and the future will give you a read on their commitment tothis area of interest...whatever it is. The flip side of this is:when you hear someone talking about the past or the future, youcan assume there's some kind of an emotional connection towhatever's being discussed. If you hear your boss talking abouthow they used to do things, you might want to ask how he fellsabout the old way. You may learn something.

© by Todd Royer. All Rights Reserved.

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Todd Royer has been writing for the internet for 2 years. He hashelped hundreds of people with their professional growth. If youwould like a free subscription to Career Development Weekly,click below:

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