For inspiration, I might affirm them, but also encourage/challenge them to try something out, even if it might not work. Because I do believe that most people can do pretty much anything they put their mind to -- it's often just fear, or the unknown, that prevents them. But to at least try.. I might encourage that. Or might show them a different angle, even though they may not be receptive to it. I'll note that I know they may not be interested in checking it out. Basically I have no interest in forcing people into things -- because frankly I don't think that's possible. It has to be from them, from their own volition/awareness, that they WANT to do something. I might try to plant a seed, or encourage, or give various alternatives, and then that' about all I can do. Anything I say is tailored to what I know about them as a person, about their situation, about who they are and what might drive them. They can take it, or leave it. And if they leave it, what can I do? I'm not out there to create mini-versions of Me; I want people to be THEM. And if I don't have enough in common with them, or we're too at odds for a relationship, then it's not a relationship I'll develop.
Also, just share what *I* think and such, not telling them they should think that. Because I really *don't* think they should think that. They're their own person after all. And if they happen to latch onto something I say that helps them out, that's awesome. If my own life/story/experiences provide raw material and they think well, if SHE can do it, I can do it.. then, that too.
Commonalities? Well, if I meet someone who's super into the outdoors/wildlife, conversation/commonalities might be built upon that. If I meet someone who's an engineer, I might then talk about how I started out in engineering, and ask them about that. If I meet someone who's into psychology stuff, obviously convo might take a deeper turn right off the bat. If I'm with the engineer, I'm not going to start talking about shopping at Banana Republic. We're not building any commonalities/connection on that. And so on.