Improve your Communication. Watch your use of these 4 words.February 11, 2022
Your unmet Expectations. What happens when you don’t have the courage to share.April 11, 2022
How do you define connection?
It’s a word you’ll see often in my blog writing and one I use frequently when speaking to people who are interested in coaching. Connection is a hard word to define, yet when I hear a client say they’re feeling lonely, don’t have many friends or don’t socialize much and I ask, “are you missing connection to other people in your life?”, their answer is YES! These phrases describe the feeling but don’t actually define connection.
Feeling connected to another person is a part of being human. To quote researcher and author Brené Brown Ph. D, LMSW, “we are hardwired for connection.” When we don’t have it on our lives we know, we feel, that something is missing.
The pandemic has made this problem even more significant to some people.
It can be hard to put into words what connection to another human being is. It’s not tangible. It’s more of a feeling, a knowing within your gut when it’s present. I’ve been reading Brené Brown’s, Phd, MSW latest book, Atlas of the Heart, and here I discovered how she chooses to define connection, based on her research:
“The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued: when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
For me this really gets to the heart of how connection feels. For many of us we may not be feeling seen, heard and valued in our lives. We may not feel that we can share without receiving judgement, so we just don’t share. So as a result we don’t have connection in our lives. We spend our time alone, or with just our immediate family, wishing it was different.
WHAT’S YOUR ROLE IN THIS
Allow me to turn the proverbial lens around on this definition for a moment. In looking at the definition we often look outward, to the other person. What are they not giving to me? They aren’t making me feel seen, heard or valued and they’re making judgements about me.
But how are we showing up for them? In order to create that connection with another how well are you listening? Do you value the other person’s opinions, ideas or perspectives? Are you withholding judgement and staying curious to what they have to say. In other words are you giving out the “energy” of connection or are you more just wanting to receive it?
One of the main purposes of coaching is to help a client with their personal growth, to create greater awareness of how they are showing up in their own lives. How they choose to be in relationship with others, whether that’s a spouse, sibling or co-worker. In other words, to take responsibility for how they are being within their relationships.
YOU’VE GOTTA GIVE IT TO GET IT BACK
If you are missing connection in your life check in with yourself. How are you’re listening skills? Do you need more practice at being present? How is your skill of curiosity versus judgement? And are you letting others know you value what they have to say or are you judging their choice or viewpoint as wrong?
If the pandemic has taught us anything these past 2 years, it’s that having connection in our lives is even more important than ever. Without it our mental health begins to suffer.
How will you consciously choose to create more connection in your life?
Want to improve your skills of connection and need help in being accountable to the change you want? Consider working with me as your coach.