A Curious Approach to Networking

September 9, 2018 by
Tetra Prime Consulting, Aaron Garner

There may be a simple trick to confident conferencing.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a single trait that makes a good networker?  We spoke to experts in the Indianapolis area, and it turns out that the best networkers all share one thing in common:  Curiosity.


As Tara Treatment Center’s Business Development Specialist,  Tina Snider agrees that genuine curiosity is the most effective way to be a successful networker. Tina stresses that business is not a zero-sum game, and that mutually beneficial arrangements arise when we earnestly seek new ways to help others. She has two simple rules:

“1.  You need to be curious, always trying to understand what the other person is doing and what they’re interested in.

2.  ‘Try’ to be absolutely genuine in your interests to help the other person…people can often sense ‘ulterior motives’ if they’re there.”

Curiosity leads to Co-Operation

Christine Turo-Shields, CEO of Kenosis Counseling Center agrees that sincere curiosity is key to the shared success of any group of people.  She finds that staying curious leads to more positive ‘giving’ interactions in the workplace. Christine referred us to Francesca Gino (Professor at Harvard Business School), who explains:

“My research found that curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective. That causes them to work together more effectively and smoothly: Conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.”

“Curiosity is Beautiful!”

As CEO of Tetra Prime Consulting, Aaron Garner lists ‘Curiosity’ as one of the company’s core values. 

“I believe curiosity is the first ingredient in building relationships (ie, networking).  Curiosity is beautiful! It is an innate drive that brings people together in meaningful ways. When I am curious about the things you care about, I am attached to you in a way that makes you attracted to me.

People want to feel included and important.  When we are curious about others we give them that feeling. They will feel connected though a common interest and will be given the chance to feel important. Allowing the other person to show case their knowledge, skills, and abilities raises them up and make them feel important.  Simply put: curiosity creates conversations that the other person wants to be a part of.”

When you are curious, you:

  • Listen more
  • Ask more/better questions
  • Speak less
  • Find mutual interests
  • Raise the other persons status
  • Become attracted and are attractive  
  • Find opportunities for both parties  


Brooke Randolph, LMHC and founder of Counseling at the Green House, says that curiosity is necessary for good networking…but not sufficient

“There has to be pure intent. I tend to approach networking from a “Givers Gain” perspective. Curiosity allows me to get to know other professionals, their businesses, and how they help their clients, so I know how they could potentially help my clients. Making great connections benefits everyone.  Curiosity helps me to learn ways that I can be helpful to someone else, whether that means a simple introduction, information, or real collaboration.

There is a clear difference between using curiosity manipulatively for a sale and genuinely being curious. It takes this curiosity to inspire a genuine connection–the kind that lets you ‘see’ the world through their eyes. ‘Using’ curiosity will likely fall flat, but sincere curiosity can lead to long-lasting relationships.”


Jessica Hood is the Owner of Indy Child Therapist and founder of the hugely successful Indy Private Practice. Certainly an accomplished networker, Jessica had this profound yet humble advice to share on the subject of networking:

“Just like a first date, the idea is to listen to what is being said and encourage the other person to talk loads about what they’re into.  We love to talk about ourselves, whether we’re able to admit it or not.  It triggers the same feeling of pleasure in our brains as does food and money.

The more someone else talks in an interaction (and the less you talk), the more positive they will feel about your interaction afterwards.”


Some might say that a person is born with this ‘networking’ personality type.  In reality, it is a skill like any other and must be honed.  A great way to practice for your next conference is to consider which speakers you’re curious about, prepare a question ahead of time, and connect to them before their speech.  For more help,    Check out A Beginner’s Guide to Asking Better Questions or watch our webinar on this topic.

Tetra Prime Consulting, Aaron Garner September 9, 2018
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