Relationship building

I was writing in response to a question posed by Mark Carter on facebook this morning. He asked what does one do to build relationship after the hello.

And I wrote about authenticity and being as the crucial elements to making relationships. But this line came pouring out, and it didn’t fit the rest of my response. So I will share it with you here. Mentor those who ask questions, and fearlessly ask questions of those you want to learn from.

Questions are the root of conversation. Without them we all too often talk past each other. I was thinking, when I wrote this line about how important it is to build up, down, and across the network.

When someone asks you a question, they give you honor. Accept the question with grace, and, as possible, be helpful. Mentor those that ask questions, for the curious are great explorers. Those you help become your legacy.

Fearlessly ask questions of those you believe you can learn from. Sometimes this is a child, who can say with the greatest simplicity some of the most profound unfettered things. Sometimes this is a person of high rank and station that you have obtained access to. Be fearless in your questions. This may be the one great opportunity you have to find the answer you need right now. You do not serve yourself or the world by being fearful. This, of course, rests on the premise of good faith. Assume the best in others, and they may rise to the challenge. Give others honor by asking of them what you need, especially when it comes to knowledge or connection. Give others a gift–the opportunity to be a contribution, to serve, to be valued.

Ask questions. Offer answers. Rather than speaking into the ever-recorded infinite space of the internet, hoping someone will hear: listen, ask, respond.