This photo might look like any ol table and glassware but I assure you it is not.
This is table 8.
The place where I sat last night at the most extraordinary event  - “concert in the cellars” - in support of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.

Picture this:
A reception and dinner filled with exquisite food, paired wine and the incredible sounds of the cello vibrating amidst the stainless steel wine tanks in the cellar of the winery.  It was quite an evening.

But that wasn’t the best part.  The best part was table 8.  Aside from my friend who had invited me, I sat with 6 other strangers whom I had never met but by the end of the night we were all laughing, hugging and planning our next get together.

And do you know why?
Because of being interested vs. interesting.

You can go to any event, party or social gathering and find three groups of people:

The not interested.
The interesting.
The interested.

The not interested types are pretty self explanatory.  You introduce yourself to them and they are not really interested in you.  Conversation is strained, painful or distracted and it usually goes nowhere.

The interesting types are far more amusing.  They often the extroverts, story-tellers and fun people you meet but they are can also be non-interested in what anyone else has to say.  Not all interesting people are interested.

Then there are the interested.  These are people who are genuinely curious about who you are, how you think and the things that make up you.  They are my favourite kind of people and I always gravitate towards those types.

I have no idea if table 8 had not-interested, interesting or interested people at it when I sat down but I do know that by a few of us asking a few unusual, interested questions, the whole table became engaged.  Sharing little tidbits of our lives.  Not so much what we do for a living but how people met, or how much they love to cook, or what they do for fun or the party lines they used where they grew up.  In just three hours I found out a lot about these people and all this being interested led to the simplest most powerful thing that is critical to everything you want to do in life:

create connection.

You need it for growing your business.
You need it for growing your relationships.
You need it for growing your alive-ness.

So the nest time you are somewhere with a bunch of strangers I hope you take a page from table 8.  Just dare to be interested.  All it takes is the courage to ask a not-normal or pat question and delight in where it leads you.

To conversations that matter,