Human connection, is it the basis of much of our happiness? I think yes! In the study, research and anecdotal evidence I have collected over the years, I have formed a very strong belief in the value and importance of human connection - hence most of my messaging is centred around it!
I'm not alone either. Psychological scientists Mehl, Holleran, Shelby-Clarke and Vazire from the University's of Arizona and Washington also agree (refer to Mr Google for oodles of references). They have conducted much research focused on wellbeing and health outcomes for humanity, and have concluded that limited, deep social connectedness, can have the same negative health and life expectancy impacts as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Wow, that is some serious risk factor to avoid. The clear conclusion: We need to maximise our deep social connectedness.
Deep social connectedness is forming and fostering those long term relationships we have with our trusted "inner sanctum", but it's also showing up authentically, in all those other conversations we have with acquaintances and colleagues. I'm not saying you need to bare your soul to your acquaintances and colleagues, but you can be authentic and genuine, sharing the relevant part of yourself in those interactions. Forming many of these genuine relationships - some deeper than others - has a huge positive outcome for you and the people you interact with.
On an organisational level, I believe that genuine relationships like these have a synergy effect in the workplace. The outcome of the whole is greater than the sum of the two individual parts, because of the positive influence two proactive people, and a proactive interaction has on the culture of a workplace. When people are modelling proactive, positive and authentic communication, not only do those specific people feel content and treated fairly, but the others around them feel the benefits flowing from this. These benefits are two fold: Direct - through witnessing or talking specifically about the proactive interaction, and; Indirect - the extended workplace being positively impacted through the behaviour and attitude that emanates from each of the parties.
One of the ways we can build genuine connection with others is to develop our ability to empathise. Having empathy for others goes a long way in helping them feel understood, cared for and valued - all with huge positive outcomes in our personal and professional relationships! Empathy is one of the key pillars of emotional intelligence, and in the short video below I expound on some specific ways you can practice and build empathy into the way you “show up” every day.
Kristy is the founder of Wellbalance. She is inspired to motivate leaders and workplaces toward proactive, effective and productive communication with their people, to achieve positive outcomes for all. Kristy enjoys long walks on the beach and holding hands at sunset (just joking - actually not really!) Kristy thrives on seeing relationships reach their full potential, and celebrates when people come to understand their true value - to love their flaws, accept their perceived failings and grow beyond these. She believes that the entire human race are healthier and happier when they CONNECT - with their people, GROW - in their self awareness and ability to engage with others, and LIVE - life to their full potential.