Author and entrepreneur Rajesh Setty writes on his blog
that one of the best ways to distinguish yourself is to be as relevant as possible to the people you’re engaging.
He suggests reflecting on some of your interactions with people where you “tuned out.” In part, your attention probably faded because the person continued to talk about things that weren’t relevant to you.
When we’re irrelevant, it’s harder for our messages to get through. Setty acknowledges this may seem like an obvious point, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
How many times have you continued to talk with someone about something that was not relevant to them?
Setty tells the story of receiving an unsolicited email from someone named Bob Thomas. It was an announcement about a new magazine called Enterprise Open Source Journal, which at the time was the first-ever publication covering open source in an enterprise setting.
Because Setty was active in the open source business, he didn’t consider the unsolicited email spam – it was relevant to him and his work. In fact, he thanked Thomas for his message, and they’ve since become friends.
As Setty points out, striving to be relevant in all of your key interactions can make a big difference in your life and the lives of those around you – from family and friends, to clients and co-workers.
And the easiest path to relevance is to genuinely care: “Once you care, you will start to take notice of what is relevant to them rather than focusing on what is relevant to you.”