Ask 30% more questions
Before you catch-up with people, make a note of 3 questions you’ve never asked them. Open questions starting with how or why are best, like “Why do you enjoy that so much?” or “How did you get started with that?”
Pay 30% more attention to body language & non-verbal cues
In every conversation, notice 3 things your conversation partner does, especially when they mention or talk about something that raises a strong emotion in them. If appropriate, say what you’re noticing, “That sounds uncomfortable” or “That’s really got you excited.”
Stay quieter for 30% longer
Practice holding silent spaces to give people time to process their thoughts or work up the courage to share something important. So, ask a question and fall silent.
And of course, always ask permission to enquire about sensitive topics — “Can I ask you about that? But only if you feel comfortable to talk about it.”