- Apr 22, 2015
Being an introvert doesn't have to be a limiting factor. As a previous poster here pointed out, you can join Facebook groups to find problems to solve.I know this could potentially sound ridiculous, but I have to ask.
It is worth pointing out that I'm an introvert, although I do not use that as a handicap or as an excuse.
When it comes to solving other people's problems, my question is, how do I go about doing it?
For instance, do I walk into a Stop and Shop, go up to some random customer, and ask them if there is a problem they need help with?
However, I think being an introvert is an advantage in getting people to talk because you will actually listen!
There is an art to having these conversations, and maybe I'll make a longer thread about this. Learning the art of listening has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. But the heart of it is this:
Approach people without wanting to convince them to have a conversation with you.
When they talk, do not offer opinions, judgement, approval. Remain neutral (this does not mean dead, it means not suggesting how they should react to you in turn).
Don't try to relate to them. Don't do anything. Make it entirely about them. NOT about your feelings, reactions, your passion, what you're trying to do. No relating at all.
Here's an example of how a conversation might go:
You: "How's your day going?"
Them: "Good. Great weather. It's good to spend more time out of the house."
Now, the topic that's open to you is spending time out of the house.
You: "What do you like to do when you're outside the house."
Them: "Oh you know...hiking, biking."
Now, the topics of hiking and biking are available to you.
You: "Where will you go hiking this season?"
Them: "Well, I really want to go through the Bruce Trail, but I've been so tied up these days"
Now the topic of the Bruce Trail is open, as is the topic of being tied up.
You: "What are you tied up with?"
Them: "A problem at work. We're in the middle of moving offices and it's hard to figure out how to do it without disrupting business operations."
Now you have permission to ask him about moving offices. You can ask him about why he's moving offices. From where to where. What it means to disrupt business operations. Etc.
A lot of people don't seem to understand this art of conversation. They jump all over the place. They never go deep enough. They're far too interested in "getting the juice" without listening. They make it about them, other than the person they are listening to. You receive permission to inquire more about a new topic if the person brings it up.
Being an introvert, if you can master the art of conversation like this, not only is it not threatening, but you will be SHOCKED at how quickly people will share their deepest more intimate problems.
If people are interested, I can write more about this. It is based on intense study, clinical validation, and personal experience. I've used it with strangers, professionals, and loved ones. I'm starting off my fastlane journey, so I haven't used it for an entrepreneurial (aka problem solving) venture, but with what I'm learning here, it's great to learn I already have the skill to unearth problems.
Edit: I posted a longer thread about this here.