Meaningful Human Connection is about tapping into what’s most authentic and real about us humans, what connects us and what makes us different. The first few works and sentences of each new interaction matter the most to set the foundation for that connection and in so many situations this always starts with ‘how are you?’ so let’s work with that.
Firstly, removing judgement and creating a safe space for people to open up and role model openness that invites others to do the same. Humans are imperfect and need to feel safe to be authentic and vulnerable without being judged. Letting people know we have unconditional positive regard for them is a technique from person centred counselling that helps development of respectful relationships at work and beyond. So how do we do this?
Sharing our vulnerability and what holds us back/our fears can help others feel safer to be imperfect themselves and create a level playing field. In response to how are you, perhaps try “I’m ok in general and I find it hard to share this but…” or “Well, I’m not sure I have the right words here but…” demonstrate that you are willing to try for the benefit of the conversation and relationship.
Shifting our levels of listening to the first response. Often, we have models where we are listening to others and filtering our attention for things we can respond to/connect with and jump in without listening to help understand what the other is really saying. If we switch to listen to the subtext and think about responding with “I think you are telling me that…” it evokes us to interpret what someone is saying at a deeper level.
Reflection: If it is something important, we can build a stronger bond by reinforcing with further reflection “I feel what you are trying to say is…”
Working remotely gives us the opportunity to use check lists pinned to our screen that others can’t see but can give us reminders in the moment.
Download our ‘Meaningful Human Connections’ worksheet and use the questions to help build Meaningful Human Connections. You can even cut them out and stick them on your desk as a reminder!