Ernesto Sirolli could not believe that agriculture had not taken off in Zambia. Everything was perfect for growing food, a commodity that was in short supply. So his goal was to teach the Zambians how to grow their own food. They never asked why agriculture was not thriving or why the Zambians had not embarked on this simple plan to feed themselves. In a quote from his TED talk, Ernesto says
Instead of asking the Zambians how come they were not growing anything we just said “Thank God We are here!”
The crops grew fantastically and just as they became ready to pick, 200 hippos came out of the wilderness and ate every last thing they had grown.
Ernesto asked the Zambians, “Why didn’t you tell us about the Hippos?”
The Zambians said “You never asked why we didn’t grow our own food.”
This incredible talk outlines a great skill that so many of us are lacking. The skill of listening. The talent of asking first, before we come up with a solution.
Listening is the most important skill you can develop for your job interview. Listen to the question, listen to how the interviewer asks it and listen for ways you can help the company.
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