Connection is the precursor to communication and unlocks understanding, engagement and a team ready to stretch. In the constant ‘reach” for higher performance the art of connection must be the hidden key to creating a Higher Performing culture which leads to organisational agility and flow.
Researcher and storyteller Dr Brene Brown’s states that; “Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued – when they can give and receive without judgment”. In this article we would like to provide 5 insights into deep connection that builds the foundation to any high performing team, culture and organisation.
1. Connection starts with you – it’s a choice
Connection starts with you and your ability to own the “armour” you wear that stands between you and others. That creates disconnection, shame and fear and really challenges your ability to truly see and understand. Our life experiences teach us to put armour on to protect our-selves from judgment, not belonging, failure, rejection…
What armour stands between you and connecting with others? Research says we could have: Perfectionism, Scarcity, Always knowing, Cynicism, Power over others, Weaponising fear and Hustling for our worth. In the high Performance work we do we see so many people and leaders walking around with armour, going into full battle mode with others, protecting themselves, hurting people and creating a fear culture where growth and success and sustained high performance is limited.
When our “armour” is on we cannot connect with others. The only way for us to truly connect with others is to choose to be vulnerable and to take the armour off. It will be uncomfortable yet it’s the only way to truly connect, be open to understand and foster new partnerships with others.
What is your armour? Why do you have it? Are you willing to take a risk, be seen and most importantly choose to connect? (No fear of judgment and open)
2. Connection is foundation to trust and feedback
When I am peaceful with who I am, knowing that I am good enough (or working on that every day) connecting with others allows me to foster and build trust. In a recent session with leaders we discussed the “chicken and the egg” theory. What comes first… Connection or Trust? Trust is created through deep connection, through the willingness to be seen, through the ability we have to truly see other and not judge. So, if Connection is the foundation of Trust, how do we work on building better connection with others? I have to start working on “self”. I need to recognise that I am good enough of love and belonging. Self-love and acceptance is truly needed to support my deep connection with others.
Often in organisations we speak to leaders about love vs fear cultures. When there is a deep love of “people” we can be more effective and connect with people so they can bring their best self and help us work toward a common goal that is a stretch.
Is LOVE healthy in a High-Performance team or organisation? We fundamentally recognise that when there is great love for people and leaders take on their role to LEAD and have honest conversations with their people LOVE and PERFORMANCE can flourish side by side.
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows from the offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection…. We can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damages the roots from which love grows.” – Bréne Brown
4. Connection provides the courage to lean into feedback and clarity
When we have connection with others we can be “brave” and have honest conversations from a place of love. Without connection our conversations are likely to bring out shame and also likely to come from our own personal armour. I love the thought that when I am honest I am sharing my perspective of “my truth”, I might also be aligning agreed on expectations. I am taking honest reflection in why I am sharing I am not shying away from the fear of rejection, and what I need to own. I have intent to help create growth and success for someone else and also for myself. With connection, love and empathy my feedback and clarity conversations can truly achieve great outcomes and be impactful.
5. Connection allows authentic and open communication
Before I speak to someone I need to feel peaceful in myself; that our discussion, conversation or meeting is based on the opportunity for them to be seen, heard and to create value. So, before we even start communicating we need to be open for connection, curious about the other person, stay out to judgment. We need to be willing to be seen and to see. When two people are connected, authentic and open with each other, great value and performance is birthed. Patrick Lencioni speaks to Performance foundations as TRUST, Vulnerability and Credibility. Vulnerability is the willingness to be seen, the willingness to hear, the openness to share ideas and explore success. This allows for mutually connected conversations where both parties are seen and heard. If we need to elevate our status, feelings of success, power and compare our stories we loose the ability to connect and communication is broken because it has become about us and our own sense of worth versus finding connection to see each other, support and empower each other.
How connected are you with your team, your leader even your family and friends? Do you bring out deep connection and care for others? Are you working on being brave, setting boundaries, sharing feedback from a place of love? Are you willing to try something new and show courage… if you are you will see your life, relationships and friendships transform and grow.
Connection is the foundation to High Performance, it starts with you, it’s the glue the keeps people functional, aligned and willing to be braver together.