"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

I like to think it was Socrates that originally coined this phrase, however am not referencing this quote for the purpose of debating it's origin. 

I recently spent an evening with a friend over dinner who is in the process of launching a new business. Whilst we had no formal agenda, between a few of us we quickly got into discussing ideas for going to market, launching his new concept, and each sharing our vastly different experiences within the context of sales and marketing. 

Not only did I leave the evening excited about my friends new venture, I felt energised having shared the challenges I have encountered during my professional tenure and how this collective pool of knowledge can ultimately make us all more successful. 

Too often in a professional environment we get commoditised for what we know. Therefore we default to sharing our knowledge, and miss the opportunity to explore ideas in the context of the businesses/people we are meeting with. 

If you are able to challenge, provoke thoughts, and share ideas with the people you meet, ultimately you will have a greater understanding about their challenges, but also open yourself up to learning from someone else's perspective.