Just as talking doesn't always connect us, listening doesn't necessarily create meaningful connections. Even listening without judgement or distraction to superficial expressions by others doesn't automatically create a mutual sense of connection.
No matter how engaging or superficial others are in conversations, there is a difference between listening to them and listening to their life.
Listening to them might not evoke connecting levels of curiosity or resonance. Listening to their life does. Listening to someone's life means interest in their current struggles and joys, stories and dreams. It can create context to expand and deepen the meaning in whatever they're most interested in talking about. No matter what they talk about, listening to their life creates connection every time.