Recognize This! – Deep, personal connections with others is what makes us human.
How connected are you? No, I mean how really connected are you? To actual people, not Facebook friends or Twitter followers.
I ask because this is a growing and troubling illusion in our ever more hyper-connected state. We’re “always on” and sharing far more of our personal selves than seemingly ever before. I worry because I’m afraid the illusion of connection in this fashion is overriding the reality of true, deep interpersonal connections. And it’s those deep interpersonal connections – in both our personal and our work lives – that give us a far richer, more meaningful and more human experience in our everyday moments, both big and small.
This is the thrust of Tim Leberecht’s recent Harvard Business Review article, “In the Age of Loneliness, Connections at Work Matter.” Tim points out:
“There’s a difference between being surrounded by or linked to other people and having moments of genuine human connection with them. As the writer Richard Bach observed, ‘The opposite of loneliness is not togetherness, it’s intimacy.’”
One profound way to create intimacy is simply by noticing others and thanking them for what they do. I often say a universal translation of “thank you” is “I see you.” And that is perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give to another human. To truly see them, their efforts, their contributions, their goals, their aspirations. To honor them with our words of praise and appreciation. To confirm and validate the value they bring to you and to the world.
I’m a personal fan of Tim’s, having also hosted a panel with him at Work Human this past June. Along with the nearly one million viewers of his TED talk, I can also attest to his power as a speaker to share important information in a way that inspires greater action.
About Lynette Silva
Facts and stats run through Lynette Silva’s veins. She uses her wealth of data and knowledge to help customers build strong business cases for the power of thanks to increase employee engagement, retention, productivity, and performance. In her role as senior recognition strategist and consultant at Globoforce, she’s also a frequently requested speaker and session leader. Lynette holds a B.S. and M.S in History Education from Boston University.