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Captains Curious: Curiosity, People-Watching and Business Reconnaissance


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Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest contributing member is Christie Halmick! To learn about the other Captains Curious, please click here.

An Introvert Uses Curiosity

As an introvert, curiosity is a quiet endeavor. I can sit happily at the back of a room full of people and observe.

In Person

People-watching is an Olympic sport for me. At every concert, party and business conference my way of working the room is to identify the mini soap operas in progress. Who is alone in the room and why? Why does that lady in the corner have on so much eye liner? Who will be sneaking out of the party later for a clandestine meeting?

Attend any networking event and instead of plunging right into swapping business cards, stand back a bit and see how fast you can identify the star of the show. She’ll be working the room, joking with her fellow cast members, accepting drinks bought just for her and later will confide to you that everyone in the room (except for you) owes her favors.

You won’t believe she has the audacity to tell you this. But opportunities to get a clear view of the business landscape in your industry come to the quietly curious. You just have to keep an eye on all the players and your mouth shut.

The same is true online.

I don’t even have to leave my house anymore to watch my small hometown business soap operas play out on Facebook. I can connect the dots “Kevin Bacon style” between groups of business and marketing people on LinkedIn.

I know who is friends with whom on the biggest blogs in my industry, just by keeping up with blog comments and product launches. I’ve overheard many titillating conversations, that I’d never be privy to in real life, play out on Twitter. For an introvert like me, this is people-watching at its finest.

So what makes this more than just a spectator sport?

If you need to do business research, want to know who the players are in your industry or are looking for a good partner for a joint venture, be curious. Even if you are normally an extrovert, try on an introvert’s Curiosity Hat for a while.

Watch what’s happening on the various social media channels, see what topics are popular, see who’s connected to whom, be curious about how people talk to (and about) each other and their businesses online. And instead of shouting all this info to the roof tops, store it away for later.

My curiosity has led me down a winding road of Twitter connections to great business coaches like Sarah Robinson (http://escaping-mediocrity.com) and to amazingly supportive groups like LaVonne Ellis’s Customer Love (http://makecustomersloveyou.com).

All these connections, which are helping me grow my business, wouldn’t have come about if I wasn’t curious about what other people are doing online and why.

But here’s where people-watching from the sidelines officially ends and curiosity has to go public:

If I want to play my part now, I have to step out of my comfort zone and use all the information I’ve gathered in my people-watching phase to strike up a conversation. No one’s going to notice me (or you) sitting silently in the back of the room, but they will notice and be curious about someone who has taken the time to notice them.

Please leave a comment below!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Christie Halmick copy writes and designs brilliant websites and ebooks for entrepreneurial women. You can find her at: http://jewelsbranch.com and on Twitter: @jewelsbranch


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Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

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3 Responses to Captains Curious: Curiosity, People-Watching and Business Reconnaissance

  1. People watching! One of my fave games! 😀

    You are so correct tho’, in that you then have to go DO something with what you’ve learned. Or at least you do if you want to go anywhere.

    Noticing is, as you say, a great way to give a sincere compliment and get remembered in some very good ways. :>

  2. Christie July 11, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Birdy. You are one of those fabulous people who notice & follow through with the DO something. I’m watching you to see what big things come your way. 🙂

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