Connection: do you need to change the story?

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It is easy to make CONNECTION with people we like, people who are like us, people who have not disappointed us in the past.

It’s harder to achieve CONNECTION to people who are different, who see the world differently, who have different interests, and especially people who have caused us pain.  For those people we often have perceptions and stories that we tell ourselves over and over about them.

Humans are pattern-seekers. When we experience a new situation or person we look for a pattern or map from a previous experience to make sense of it. Sometimes we unfairly project onto others our past  stories with someone they remind us of.

Times may change, people may change, but too often we keep the same stories.

Sometimes these stories get in the way and prevent us from making the effort to understand them, their perspective, and their motivations.

We interpret their behaviors and assign intentions that may or may not be true. And the oft-repeated story prevents us from questioning our assumptions.

If the relationship is difficult, yet important, every now and then we need to clean the slate and reevaluate our story that describes their behavior.

We need to ask open-ended questions to see the world from their perspective, to check-out the view from their window.

Be open to the possibility that the impediment to making CONNECTION and building TRUST is not them, it is US and our faulty story.

Be a High-Trust Leader: question the stories you tell yourself about others.


  1. Pick one person in your circle who rubs you the wrong way.
  2. Ask them to meet for coffee, take a walk, or just visit.
  3. Have the courage to ask a couple open-ended questions to better understand their motivations, feelings, and aspirations.
  4. Use the answers to change or reaffirm your perceptions.