PLEASE JOIN US
When: June 4, 1 p.m. EST (6 p.m. BST/10.30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Building Connectedness
About This Week’s Chat
“Every problem emerges from the false belief we are separate from one another, and every answer emerges from the realization we are not.”
Marianne Williamson, American author
If we accept that the theory around Six Degrees of Separation is accurate, then we are only six steps away from a relationship with someone, anyone, throughout the entire world.
Hungarian Frigyes Karinthy wrote about this phenomenon long before the invention of the internet, in his 1929 short story, “Chains.” But the Six Handshake Rule, as it’s also known, still holds true today.
So, if we are so well connected, why do we have so many challenges when it comes to communication, understanding and diversity? Even connecting with ourselves has become problematic.
I have a service dog. Her name is Jackie. Jackie has been trained to perform specific tasks to help me when I’m struggling with my health or struggling mentally.
But the process did not and does not begin in a training class. The process begins with me connecting with her emotionally, mentally and physically.
She has had to learn to trust me for us to achieve a mutual state of respect. For us to care for, and about, one another. You can’t train that.
Connectedness, Normality and Balance
Her training has built upon the connectedness we have developed, so that she understands what a normal state for me is. And she understands when I am moving outside that realm of normalness.
When she identifies a state of abnormality, Jackie uses her training to respond. That is where she believes our strengths lie – in a state of normality.
When we connect with others and with ourselves, we generate our own state of normality.
And when we find ourselves in situations that challenge that normality, we try to move away from the imbalance and move toward a “normal” balance again. Our brains and bodies feel most comfortable and least threatened when that balance exists.
The Root of Connectedness
Human beings are connected by more than mere survival instincts: we also share a need to belong. Once we no longer belong, we feel hopeless and alone. We seek purpose in life but have no means to establish it.
Learning to understand, for example, the difference between kindness and being patronizing, or the power of language to divide, can change the way we connect with others and the way others connect with us.
We often establish false “connections,” whereby someone or some group appears to embrace us, but it is not a true state of connection. It is a state that is created only to pacify, to calm, and for a temporary connection.
True connectedness allows us to feel connected whether the object of that connection is present or not.
In our #MTtalk Twitter chat on Friday, we’re going to talk about how connected we feel.
In our poll this week, we asked you how technology has helped you to feel connected to people over the past year. Out in front, 30 percent of respondents reported they felt only “superficially connected,” while 26 percent pleaded for “No more Zoom please!” To see all the options and results, please click here.
We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
- How do you know whether you’re connected?
- Does connectedness contribute to our well-being? If so, how?
- How much choice/power do you have around your level of connectedness?
- What are the risks of not being connected?
- Why do connections fade/break?
- Who do you choose not to connect with and why?
- How does connection benefit us at work?
To help you to prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse. Some resources may only be accessible in full to members of the Mind Tools Club.
How to Make Small Talk
Handy’s Motivation Theory
Working in a Public-Facing Role
8 Ways to Beat Loneliness in the Workplace
How to Join
Follow us on Twitter to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat.
To participate, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “Latest” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.