Human Connection

This month at 100Ninjas we are exploring the idea of Human Connection…

Aristotle once said, “Man is, by nature, a social animal.”

We have evolved to connect with others. We crave that human connection, the experience of being heard and seen. This feeling can happen in a few words exchanged with a stranger, an evening spent with a friend, or collaborating on a project with a colleague. There is no doubt we feel nourished when we connect.

We seek out connection in all the parts of our lives; at school, at work, in our religious institutions, in the organizations we volunteer for, and with our friends and family. But how can we ensure that we make real, meaningful connections, the kind that nourish us?

The hardest part of connecting in a meaningful way is allowing ourselves to be open to others. Openness or “keeping it real” requires vulnerability. Author Brene Brown put it this way: “Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness.”

But vulnerability can be uncomfortable and uncertain. It means emotionally exposing ourselves in ways where we are not sure of the outcome. Yet only when we are willing to take that risk, and reveal our real selves, is their potential for deep human connection. A powerful thing about vulnerability is that it is contagious. If you open yourself up, others are more likely to reveal themselves to you.

This power of connection is not limited to the realm of our “personal lives”. Our professional environments are broadened and enriched when we take that social risk, whether you are connecting with your employees, your peers or your virtual assistant – in the moment that you are willing to be open with each other, you can truly collaborate as equals.

And when people reveal themselves, they are no longer solely seeing the world through the prism of office hierarchy or a static definition of success. Instead they are letting their guard down, connecting, and seeing each other as people; people with a diversity of ideas, thoughts, and opinions that are stronger and more effective for being in collaboration. The synergy can be energizing and inspiring and is only made possible by the original decision to be open. If we hold on to our ideas as something precious and fear sharing those ideas, we may be losing the best part of what they might become.

It is in the sharing of ideas, the synergy of the back and forth, minds sparking against each other, that new perspectives are born and ideas take flight in directions no one person imagined. Here is the arena where true innovation can take place and that can be a catalyst for the growth and success of your business.