Being interested is a trait that I do not hear or read about often. Some may say it is a characteristic of being present in the moment. I would counter that it is one of its building blocks.
When you focus on a conversation, a problem, or meeting a person (for the first time or interacting with them for the 100th time) it becomes the fuel both to new discoveries and the open window that allows the outside world to to be closer to you.
You are on your toes, so to speak, and ready when you are interested in what is in front of you at that moment. This leads to more depth in your conversations. I find that my listening skills improve when I am interested in the topic, the person, or the problem.
Being interested neither prejudges someone nor does it put a time clock that tries to force us to quickly move on. It sets the stage and gives us the opportunity to be present in everything and everyone around us throughout our day.
Being interested at the start of anything we do makes life much more vibrant and nuanced. It brings comfort to others by acknowledging to them that we care.
Two simple words that admitedly do need some practice. You will find, in the end, that it helps make you more interesting and effective when you try.