Suppose you truly want to connect with other people.  What’s your best strategy?6a00d83451dfab69e20153910b0fe4970b-800wi

Most of us start off with questions like: what do you do for a living?  And: where did you grow up?  We ask for facts and then try to extrapolate a living person around the data that we gather.  But that doesn’t tell us who that other person is, and it represents polite conversation rather than a genuine attempt to connect.  Research shows that connecting with people is far more valuable than gathering data on them.  It’s also more interesting.

A better strategy, proposed by New Zealander Bernadette Logue, is to see everybody you encounter as a story, and to ask: What’s your story?  She points out that all stories are unique; your upbringing, challenges, your hard-learned lessons, experiences, achievements and gifts all communicate far more of relevance than your job description.

276934255_640When you ask for someone’s story, you learn what they’ve learned, and you have an opportunity to connect on a deeper, more profound level.  A win-win.  Logue says that each person is like a new blockbuster movie, and the tickets are free.  she calls this “The question you should ask everybody you meet.”