stimulate connection

How to Stimulate Connection with Curiosity and Appreciation

International Podcast Day

Valuing Curiosity and Appreciation was the title of my session during the 30 hour live-streaming event on International Podcast Day 2016.   Seventy two podcasters from sixteen countries were represented over the 30+ hour live video event.  

I was deeply honored to be invited by two amazingly generous and committed individuals, David Lee and Steve Lee of International Podcast Day .  In the video below you will hear how I was lucky enough to be invited.  I put it down to serendipity – being in the right place at the right time – and that place was Twitter.  I don't hang out every day on Twitter, but this day I did and when the opportunity was presented, I seized it.   It was so much fun for me.  I hope my message will impact my podcaster colleagues and their audiences way into the future.

An Affirmative Question Shifts Energy and a Curious State Invites Appreciative Inquiry

In the video, you'll learn more about Positivity Strategist Podcast. The show is an interview format where I talk with people who are positive change agents in all areas of life.   Its purpose to provide a platform to showcase the work of those who are innovating social change and who serve as an inspiration to all.  My hope is to  inject a good dose of optimism and possibility into our lives. It seeks to marry the ideal with the practical.

During the video, I talk about the transformational change methodology, Appreciative Inquiry that informs my approach, providing me with a framework to stimulate connection in the most generative way.  Story telling and valuing oneself and others is key to deepening connection and strengthening relationships.  It is my experience that when you come from curiosity and appreciation, you really do stimulate connection whatever the situation and, as a podcaster, I would suggest those two states are essential for building rapport and serving yourself, your guests and your audience.

Curiosity as a State

Think back to a time when you were curious; and when you remember that time, it most likely aroused in you feelings of  mystery, adventure,  novelty,  anticipation, hope, possibility.   I expect your attention was focused, and you experienced a heightened sense of  alertness and aliveness. Some of you may have to think back to childhood, as that's when living in a state of curiosity is almost the default.

How about the State of Appreciation?

Now remember a time when you experienced appreciation.  Were you the giver of appreciation because you showed appreciation to someone else; or, were you the receiver of appreciation, because someone showed appreciation to you?   How did appreciation make you feel – about yourself and about the other?  I expect both situations made you feel good because you were able to stimulate connection at a different level.  Not only did you and that other person feel good, I bet others around who observed it also felt positively impacted.  If you want to see this in action, you may enjoy my TEDx talk.  There is something magical about the reciprocal nature of the act of appreciation.

Positive Emotional States Stimulate Connection

If you're not convinced that experiencing positive emotional states do bring out the best in us, try a little curiosity and/or appreciation when you next have the opportunity to be in conversation with someone.

Recently, during a Town Hall debate, the two debaters were antagonist the entire time.   The final question:

… regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?

That question was a state changer, and for a short time, we witnessed a shift in energy, we might say it served to stimulate connection, and as an observer, I felt a positive possibility, and I suspect it impacted others in the same way.

If you believe a good dose of positivity can serve you, please subscribe to Positivity Strategist Podcast to listen in to stories of people who are positively impacting the world.  You will be inspired.