As I began to write this newsletter, I went to the Merriam-Webster website to look up the word “connection”. The definition was long and involved. It gave examples such as being connected to the internet, being connected to a town water supply and the connection between smoking and lung cancer. It’s true all of these do relate to the word connection and they can be very powerful; however, there’s something that I feel is more foundational to connection…
The human component is the real power of connection.
Think about it…
Was there a point in your life when you felt disconnected from people? For example, maybe that’s right now, because you have decided to limit your human interactions due to the pandemic. Today, many people are feeling disconnected from their communities, their business colleagues, their families and people in general. Sure, you can connect online via Zoom, Google Meet, etc. Which is amazing and wonderful to be able to SEE the people and actually have conversations, rather than just talking on the phone, or exchanging emails or text messages. However, it isn’t the same.
Connection is multifaceted. It involves being with people that are on the same wavelength, people that challenge you in a good way, etc. There’s also a physical component to connection such as touching a person’s hand when you’re making a point or celebrating a success by giving a person a hug. This is one of the big pieces of connection that people are hungry for today.
Now, think of a time in your life when you did have amazing connections with people? How did these connections develop? What did you have in common? Would you have been willing to drop everything to help them out, if they needed your help? Take 2 seconds right now and picture one of these people that you feel that deep solid wonderful connection with… I bet you now have a smile on your face!
There are scientific studies demonstrating how having connections with people improves the quality and length of our lives. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
If you’re a small business owner, you know how important connections can be. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to refer a client to another person who is part of your network? Everyone is happy! The client is thrilled because they get a solution to their problem. Your connection is excited because he/she is able to solve a problem for someone who may then become a loyal client. And you’re feeling very good because you were able to make this connection!
As one goes through the ups and downs of life (e.g., a pandemic, a lay-off, promotions, financial hardship, starting a business), having the comfort and support of your connections can help you celebrate the good times and successfully survive the less than stellar times. For example, if you’re looking for a job in today’s market, one of the best resources at your fingertips is the people you know. Let’s face it, they care about you, they want to help you and they want to see you successful! All you have to do is ask.
As you begin this holiday season, I hope you will honor and cherish the connections you currently have. I also hope you continue to create and enjoy new connections. You never know when that stranger will become one of your beloved connections, especially since we all start out as strangers!