I spoke with a customer service rep and had to change my password while on the phone with her. I told her to change one digit to a pound sign…or hashtag if she needed a different context. She chuckled and appreciated the expanded context then added her own: “…or a number sign or tictactoe.” I laughed and admitted I hadn’t considered the tictactoe connection.
We found common ground quickly, but I considered how easy it is to get confused when we are only familiar with our own understanding, context, and world when communicating with others. We can’t get familiar with everything, but if we don’t broaden our experiences and knowledge, we miss connections with people.
We all find ourselves wondering, “What are they talking about?” Of course, there are some conversations we don’t need to jump into. There is some information it’s okay to live without. But it’s good to be curious. It’s okay to ask questions. None of us knows it all, and even if someone looks at us oddly because we don’t know what they know, we can be comfortable in our curious learning.
There are some things that can be Googled, but it’s good to frequently ask and interact with others. It fosters relationships. It invites people to share with us. And it keeps us humble.
Ask questions today. Learn. Listen.