The Surprise of Complementary Powers

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Attention and Connection

The nature of the modern world often limits our ability to deeply connect long enough to understand how others are truly doing. We zig-and-zag in and out of commitments and conversations with a certain level of constant distraction. While we know the rewards of authentic interactions are both needed and fulfilling, there’s often something lurking in the background that keeps us from giving our full attention. These distractions, known as the 21st Century Syndrome, can weigh on our relationships, leaving some feeling the weight of inequitable effort or presence.

These small, often unnoticed inequities can accumulate, impacting our emotional well-being and our perceptions of each other. Much like an undiagnosed health issue, increasing stressors can compound over time, leading to greater challenges that limit our ability to connect in the future. The causes of disengagement, exhaustion, and burnout are not isolated issues; they often spread quickly throughout a team, becoming systemic problems that further threaten our very ability to address variability.

However, investing in the practice of paying attention benefits both us as individuals and as members of the teams and groups we’re a part of. When we feel connected and supported, we’re more likely to be engaged, productive, and loyal. According to Darlene Mininni in the above TED Talk, we’re usually so intent on finding the perfect solutions to our problems that we fail to see the possibilities right in front of us. More often than not, it’s the relationships we have that offer us the greatest opportunity and support for fixing the problems that keep us so distracted.

Doctor Starla Fitch highlights in this TED Talk the importance of courageous and patient leadership in forming meaningful connections. By embracing these principles, we each can make an impact on our team’s well-being and productivity. Regardless of our individual level or role, we’re all a leader to each other in how we influence the course of our connections.

Fostering authentic connections within our teams is not just a feel-good strategy; it’s a crucial element of successful leadership. By recognizing the signs of disengagement early and acting proactively, we can prevent small issues from becoming systemic problems.

This week, let’s take a moment to reflect on the power of connection in our own lives. Remember, we all have the unique opportunity to change the course for someone who may really need it, including ourselves.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
– Herman Melville

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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