The value of personal connection is as important to humans as ever and that connection is being challenged on multiple fronts. We find ourselves divisive on many issues that pits one “right” opinion against the “other”, relationships have become strained, fractured and in some cases broken.
We know that at our essence we share much; a desire to be safe, to provide for ourselves and our loved ones, to strive toward meaningful purpose and yes, connection with others.
What helps us re-connect?
Self-Awareness and Vulnerability; everyone screws up, and it’s on us to have self-awareness when we make mistakes and own them. When we fail, have self-compassion, just as you would for a dear friend in a similar predicament. We are so hard on ourselves. With self-compassion we find our courage and vulnerability in taking a step forward.
Be Present; selfishly schedule time to reflect, to slow down and clear your mind of judgment and external distractions. What a relief! And it opens the door to show up in a relationship with the intent of creating connection and a mindset of authentic curiosity.
Active Listening; Listen to others at a deep level. Notice when judgement creeps into your brain. Let go of the judgement, open your heart and bring your focus back to the human you are in relationship with, in the moment. Is there a better feeling than being listened to at a deep level?
Powerful Questions; authenticity, curiosity and our desire to understand are at the heart of Powerful Questions. Powerful questions generally start with “What”, they are short and invite introspection. I coach people to step back from questions that start with “Why” as the “Why” can put many if us on the defensive, we get activated and get into defending. It’s not intentional, it’s how our brain reacts to “Why”, I can remember being on the receiving end of “Why” questions, how about you? Also, be aware of jumping to “How” too quickly, we have this tendency of wanting to get to the bottom-line at the expense of quality. Simply pause, and ask one more “What” question.
Silence; has impact. In being present, you will find space where words are not invited, or needed. These spaces of silence are as powerful as any brilliant question. How comfortable are you with pausing and silence?
My invitation to you is to bring awareness to your personal connections, to experiment with some of these skills and notice what develops, both for you and others.