'Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.' Anaïs Nin
I love this quote from Anaïs! Yes, friends have the potential to open up completely new worlds. Apart from all the similarities, they grew up in a different family than you did, they had different friends before they met you, they made other experiences in life, they learned a different skill set and so on. We often don't use these worlds consciously enough, though.
Initially, in an attempt to get to know a new person, you start asking questions and giving information about yourself. The longer you know each other, the fewer questions you ask about the other persons hidden interests. You somehow suppose that you know the person well enough so that conversation is often restricted to small talk and an exchange about daily life topics.
The sad thing is that you are missing out on a huge learning opportunity here. Friends are the strongest part of your personal learning network. They like you, they love to make time for you, they are inclined to help you and last but not least they will forgive any 'stupid' question.
To uncover this huge potential, you should …
Ask yourself: What do I really know about my friend's fields of interests and knowledge? In which way can they help me develop? How can I help them develop?
Engage in deep discussions with your friends instead of restricting yourself to small talk.
Make a list now and write down the names with your friends’ names, their top 3 interests & fields of knowledge. What are the questions that you can ask when you meet the next time?