On Not Leading With The Weather
Sometimes we experience a twinge of cognitive dissonance when it comes to empathy and authenticity.
No one wants to be a sociopath. But no one actually wants to make small talk about the weather, either.
What happens when you desire to authentically care, but don’t?
Empathy isn’t something you have to fake.
For me, questions are the key.
“What are you most interested in and passionate about today?”
Engage with that response.
Ask (in light of the answer above):
“What are you concerned about today?”
Ask (in the context of both responses):
“What are you learning?”
The beauty of these questions is they cut to the core values of a person. The conversation opens with what’s meaningful to them right now, without a huge need for “small-talk” build up.
Sure we experience the same weather. But that’s a lowest common denominator and no-one actually wants to talk about that.