TIC is the trick you know…
The Importance of Connection is an essential and often overlooked part of wellbeing. Recently, perhaps even in the last decade, we have seen a fascinating phenomena of what I think of as ‘closeness apart.’
We carry our world around in one hand, we reply to each other through scripted suggestions and automated messages (thanks G-Mail, they are useful I’ll admit) and we use self-service checkouts. Human contact, even just between yourself and a cashier, a barista and now your co-workers has been reduced to abysmal levels – we’re all stranded on deserted islands, and this can affect not only our mental wellbeing but also our productivity.
Whether we find tribe in a football team or in our colleagues, instinctively as humans we make new connections all the time of varying depths. The deeper the connection the more we care. This is why it’s important to seek out connective experiences, especially now, when contact is at the bare minimum. Brian Miller, an expert in human contact outlines the difference between ‘randomness’ and ‘coincidence.’ In his book ‘Three New People’ he notes that humans attribute more significance to actions they consider coincidental rather than random. Say you are thinking about a friend you haven’t seen in a while and they text you, ‘what a coincidence!’ In actuality it could be entirely random, you probably think of that friend more than you are aware of but the timing of these events makes it seem like fate. The reverse can also be true, if we are looking for signs then we will see them. Miller uses the example of ‘a bad psychic’ if you are told to watch out for a sign, a number or even a colour you might begin seeing it everywhere.
But why am I telling you this? Miller concludes that we ought to start seeking out connections rather than letting the opportunities wash over us, they aren’t coincidental or random. If you have a regular coffee shop you are choosing to go there, you will be seeing the Barista each time you go. Talk to them, listen to each other and seek out connections. It will boost your mood, positivity and productivity. The more we listen to others, the more we will be listened to, supported and understood.
This might be understanding your customer base, your brand guidelines or your colleagues – but what is essential is a personal touch. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs places ‘Belongingness’ as the third most important factor that contributes towards human happiness and wellbeing. It is the first psychological necessity according to Maslow, that humans connect, find a tribe, listen and learn from one another. Without this vital step, the ‘esteem needs’ such as accomplishment or success are trickier to obtain. One cannot happen without the other, you can’t feel supported without supporting others- without belonging!
Hey presto, we made it to the end of my (very) long winded explanation of the importance of connection… but how can you affect a feeling of ‘Belongingness’ when your teams are apart?
By now, you are all probably Zoom masters, but don’t use it only to talk business! Check in with each other, make quizzes, hell, even do a murder mystery (we tried it at Runway East and loved it our came from here.) This time round you can meet one other person outside, so do it! Go for a walk with a nice hot chocolate (better to pack a flask I reckon.) Join a new channel on slack, find a new community who will help you succeed, take an online class, do some virtual yoga! Stick together and stay positive.
Whatever you do as a team, remember that connection is crucial, not just contact. In order to fulfill our ‘esteem needs’ we need to feel valued, we need to feel that we belong, and it is this that gives us the confidence to push towards greater success and ambition. Uninhibited communication leads to seamless processes, productivity and a passion for what we do- and it’s this passion we have to keep alive and thriving now, even in the midst of all this grey.
As we enter lockdown part two, reloaded, the sequel, we’d like to remind you that we are here to support you. If you need some contact, a coffee or your post, our sites will be operational. Should you need to bring your team in for a meeting, an online event, or for a one on one – our sites are covid secure and willing to help affect this feeling of Belongingness. Not only within your team but within our Runway East Community. That said, follow the guidelines but don’t lose contact… or rather, connection!