Sometimes it's just a simple, additional question that can take a conversation from basic to exceptional. When talking to a co-worker or friend, (especially at this is the time of year) take a moment and 'take their pulse'. Learn from them and engage more fully. It seems simple and event remedial but does not take place very often – we are too busy – we have goals and numbers to reach and are of singular focus – we get exhausted from our own lives and can't look beyond.
For example, last week I noticed the pace of my client's communication was not what I was used to hearing from him. I stopped the business chatter and simply asked if he was doing well and mentioned that he seemed to be short of the 'zip' that I know of from him. He indicated that he had an ill child and proceeded to tell me the story. I was glad to learn more of his life and had the opportunity to share the empathy that I was feeling. I wanted him to gain some relief by telling his story. Our relationship will never be the same.
Here is a little holiday gift from me to help. I created some creative communication starter coasters. Click below to receive 4 cork coasters that are perfect for your desktop or conference table. Each coaster has a question/conversation starter to increase communication and learn more of each other. It's worth the effort!