Accessibility

The Power of Connection

Laura Jennings
Thursday, January 19, 2023

The act of connecting creates a feeling of understanding and ease of communication between two or more people. Connection in the workplace is an important factor in feeling that they belong, and can help drive collaboration and knowledge sharing among teams, and lead to great opportunities.

Connection empowers us to better engage and connect with one another in the workplace.

I delivered a talk this past fall on the Power of Connection to encourage acknowledgement, thoughts, and drive intention around this topic. Having experienced a variety of cultures within several organizations, oftentimes I have found myself in a place where I did not feel connected. Instead, I felt more like a number. So instead of this, I decided that I would set my own intention to embrace the power of connection by doing something about it.

During our session, we discussed my favorite sociologist, social worker, thought leader, and author Dr. Brené Brown, and shared her thoughts on connection “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” What stands out for me here is the verb “ENERGY” because when we feel, seen, heard, and valued we ultimately will respond in ways that generate connections that can lead to great opportunities and ideas.

According to a 2022 article published by Blueboard.com called “The State of Workplace Connection in 2022,” nearly 80% of employees surveyed report that they want to work at an organization where they feel connected to the purpose and the people. And 85% of HR professionals agree that employee connection is a critical part of their overall success as an organization. I have learned that connected teams drive collaboration, nurture healthy working relationships, and promote knowledge sharing.

This is one of many reasons why creating a culture of connection is crucial not only in our places of work but in our lives. People want to feel connected and like they belong which, in turn, will cultivate spaces where people can thrive and show up as their authentic selves every single day.

If these thoughts resonate with you and you want to take steps towards becoming and encouraging more connectedness in your organization, here is a list of tips and resources to get you started:

Tips to Improve Connection at Work

  • Lean In and Engage – Become more intentional with the quality of listening to others when they speak. Listen to understand not to respond.
  • Reach Out to Connect – Setting up 1:1 or even 2:2 conversations to simply get to know coworkers. The virtual environment doesn’t have to be a limitation.
  • Integrate Fun – Share your interests on Slack or other preferred communication channels. Engage on others' posts. Make daily interactions funny, joyful, and fun by playing trivia games before meetings or even throughout the day. Personality quizzes are also a fun way to get to know your coworkers on a deeper level.
  • Show Up – Turn on your Zoom camera whenever possible. It makes a huge difference during meetings and contributes to positive outcomes.
  • Speak Up – Whether positive, negative, or indifferent, ask for what you need and embrace saying what others might be too fearful to say, and seek out opportunities to acknowledge your coworkers for doing great things.

 

Additional Resources:

  1. We! Connect Cards: Use these as an easy way to connect with your team before diving into content-filled meetings.
  2. NERIS Type Explorer Personality Test: Learn more about yourself and your peers and be open to sharing this with each other which can help to improve the quality of our daily engagement.
  3. True Colors Personality Test
  4. DISC Personality Test
  5. RSA Shorts: Dr. Brené Brown, "The Power of Empathy" (YouTube)
  6. Take a Seat, Make a Friend | SoulPancake Street Team (YouTube)

Laura Jennings
Thursday, January 19, 2023
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