In John Maxwell's latest book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, he says that finding common ground is a critical component to connecting. In fact, he says the practice above all others that opens the door to connection with others is finding common ground.
In trying to coach us to be better connectors, Maxwell shares four barriers to finding common ground:
1. Assumption - "I already know what others know, feel, and want." Problem: Whenever you are quick to make assumptions, you stop paying attention to people and miss clues that would otherwise help you to reach common ground with them.
2. Arrogance - "I don't need to know what others know, feel, or want." Problem: You can't build a relationship with anyone when you don't care about them.
3. Indifference - "I don't care to know what others know, feel, or want." Problem: This is really selfishness.
4. Control - "I don't want others to know what I know, feel, or want." Problem: Secrecy spawns isolation not success.
As you can see, none of these four is a good place to be. I'll bet you can identify people in your life who are in each of these categories. The question is, can you identify if you are?