Picture yourself listening to a friend who is telling you a great story.
Now think about what you’re thinking while they’re telling that story.
You’re thinking about a story you’re going tell that’s “just like” their story, aren’t you?
In your head you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, I have a story that’s JUST LIKE that!”
“They won’t believe how similar our stories are!”
“I have to keep thinking about my story so I won’t forget it.”
“When will they stop talking so that I can tell my story?”
Notice that you’re now thinking about you. You’ve become focused on your own story and you have actually stopped listening to the other person’s story.
Me telling you a story that’s “just like” your story is not listening.
The conversation becomes a tennis match in which stories are volleyed back and forth – there is no real connection.
If you want to do more than volley the stories back and forth across the net – if you actually want to connect with the other person – try using these four simple words:
“Tell me more about…”
“Tell me more about … a moment in the story, a person in the story, what happened when….”
“Tell me more about” demonstrates that you care about their story, that you’re interested in what they have to say. It lets the other person know that you listened to their story and that you care to hear more.
“Oh my gosh, wait until I tell you what happened to me – it’s just like that!” is about you and your story.
“Tell me more about” is an invitation to connect.
Give it a try!