Winning With People Part 3: Becoming Interested in Others

On Sunday 12th July at our morning service, we continued our series Winning With People with the topic 'Becoming Interested In Others'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.

To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.

Talk Summary

How do we build relationships of influence? How do we ensure people want to know us and be around us? How do we do better with relationships of influence with our children, friends, work colleagues? 

What we are talking about today is a critical thing that we can do to ensure that that happens and the good news is that this works whether you’re a Christian or not, but rather like the rest of the series, we will discover that if you are a Christian this is a command, not an option.

Paul was a follower of Jesus who lived around 2,000 years ago. He started lots of churches and he wrote letters to the people in them. One of those letters was to some people in a place called Philippi. In Philippians chapter 2 verses 1 to 8 we read about how we can build relationships of influence. You can read that by clicking here.

In verses 1 and 2 we see that this is a command for Christians, if you have any encouragement from being united with Jesus…if you would say you are following Jesus, if you take comfort from his love for you, then be of one spirit and one mind, basically get on with other people.

Then Paul goes on to tell us how to do that in verses 3 and 4. Don’t act out of selfish ambition, don’t act of vain conceit, be humble. Value others above yourself. Don’t look to your own interests, look to the interests of others.

People who remain self centred and self serving will always have a hard time getting along with others. Albert Einstein said “A person first starts to live when he can live outside himself”. This is so true isn’t it? Look at people you love relating to, look at people who have lots of friendships, look at the people who are at the centre of a community like a church…they are the people who are not self centred or self serving, they are the people who give of themselves to others, who realise that the entire world with one minor exception is composed of others, so they better be interested in other people.

It is also true that believing the best in people, usually brings the best out of people. We mustn’t allow our disappointment in a few people to stop us believing in people.

For non Christians this is just a great way to live, but for Christians look at what Paul goes on to say – in verses 6 to 8…this is what Jesus did and that is why people flocked to him. 

Here are six ways to let people know you are interested in them (from John Maxwell’s book Winning with People).

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people
  2. Smile
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound
  4. Be a good listener, encourage others to talk about themselves
  5. Talk about the other persons interests
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely

The person who is interested in themselves walks in and says “here I am,” the person who is interested in others walks in and says “there you are” and anybody can learn to do that. If you want to be the kind of person that makes others smile when they see you coming, get outside yourself, change your focus, and become interested in others, it will change your life.

Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)

1. Think for a minute about the sorts of people you love to be around, or the sorts of people that make you smile when you see them coming…what makes them that way?

2. Think about the people that have influenced you positively throughout your life…what kinds of things have they done?

3. Do you think you are a person like this, do you think you are a person that others seeing coming and smile?

4. If you are a Christian what does it make you feel to think that these commands are commands from God? Does that make them more of a priority for you?

5. Which of the things that Paul lists do you need to work on? How might you do that?

6. Do you agree that it was because he was this type of person that people flocked to Jesus?

7. How can you have the same ‘mindset’ as Jesus?

8. What are you going to do to make some changes?