This is the third tip in my Connect More in 2022 series. My tip for increasing connection is to Cultivate curiosity. It’s more difficult to cultivate curiosity if you’re a seasoned leader, or equally if you feel the need to prove yourself.

I’ve coached high-level leaders on initiating difficult conversations, and a common objection is, “I already know what they’re going to say.” What I explain is, while you can predict a pattern, you don’t really know what someone will say until they actually say it.

The reason we avoid conversations is because we make predictions based on past patterns. What we don’t realize is that we’re also in a pattern: a pattern of assuming, which contributes to the predictable outcome. Avoiding the elephant in the room only deepens the disconnect.

Mindset: I could be wrong about how I’m seeing things.

Skill set: Learn the art of radical listening. Acknowledge and inquire. Say something like, “That’s an interesting point of view. Tell me more.” Then close your mouth until you’ve really heard what the other person has to say, not what you assumed they would say.

I’m curious…how are you liking the series on improving connection? I’d love to hear about your insights.