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But Enough About You, Let's Talk About Me...

Posted by Bob Corlett on May 9, 2012

I recently wrote a post for the Washington Business Journal about curiosity--the one attribute smart employers look for, but job seekers rarely demonstrate in an interview. My post drew some insightful comments I wanted to share with you (below), but many people simply wanted to know why people are not more curious.

Luckily, neuroscience researchers at Harvard recently discovered why we'd prefer to talk about ourselves rather than ask someone else a question.

"Talking about ourselves—whether in a personal conversation or through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter—triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money."

So there you have it...enough about you, let's talk about me (because it feels better).

And here are the comments I promised...but make sure to leave your own comments below...I'm sure you'll feel better if you do...

"I enjoyed your piece in the WBJ re: curiosity. However, as a frustrated job seeker, I know from first-hand experience that it's not only potential employees who lack curiosity, employers are equally guilty...I've found my chief obstacle has been a lack of curiosity on the part of potential employers - expertise is king - and it's what gets you in the door."

and

"We have been conditioned not to ask personal (nosy) questions, especially of strangers but even of friends and relatives, but I agree that job seekers should be more curious about the company where they want to work and ask more questions. However, they should not ask questions about the company that they should know the answer already.

As a news reporter for many years, I learned to ask questions of people about themselves, their families or their work, but I also learned early not to ask basic questions that I should have answered already when preparing for the interview: for example, "What does your company do, make, sell?"

and

"Thank you for writing this article…it really hit home. I have to admit I think about this topic all the time and lament the lack of curiosity in so many people I interact with; but I also realize in reading your post that I am myself guilty of often falling prey to the same impulse.

Thank you for reminding me that life is more exciting when we are interested in learning more about others and less about what I already know about myself!"

This, for me, is the joy of blogging. What other people contribute is often wiser than what I put out there.