Permission to connect
Maslow placed connection about 3 rungs above basic needs in the hierarchy of needs. We now know that connection is a basic need. It belongs on the first and most fundamental rung. Connection has been found to be the key element in longevity. Connection has also been correlated to happiness and wellness. We need it. We thrive when we have it.
Yet it can be challenging to do.
Large conferences are a prime example where even the most extraverted people can have a challenge connecting. It can be daunting walking up the halls, thousands of people streaming by, all on the same mission but everyone seemingly having something important to get to or a phone call they need to make.
Speaking with Roger Norton, a long-time user of the CCS, I was struck by how simple tools can engage and give people permission to connect. Roger shared his way of breaking the ice and connecting meaningfully with hundreds of people at a recent conference in Singapore.
Using the CCS as a thought stimulator, Roger had people (I imagined him standing with a sort of ‘roll up, roll up’ feel!) come and choose cards that represented the vision of their organisation. Not only was this a novel way to think about their vision, but it allowed for open discussion as people shared.
In terms of leadership, Roger encouraged people to,
“Tell me a story I would want to be a part of.”
We know that emotion captures the heart and leads to action. Through the cards and a great question, conference participants were able to connect to their vision, while connecting with others.
I want to share with you at this point my connection with Roger. We met very early on in terms of the CCS cards where I shared some ways the tool could be used to improve communication. Roger immediately went home and used the CCS with his son, who was about 12 years old at the time. What resulted was a conversation that left Roger telling me ‘the cards positively influenced my relationship with my son in a most unexpected way’.
I feel privileged to be able to share personal and professional stories with Roger, bouncing ideas and creative ways to continually improve what we do. Twenty years on, we have a flourishing trusting relationship. Twenty years on much has changed in the world. What hasn’t changed is our need to connect with others. Sometimes, especially in the corporate environment, we need permission to connect.
How will you step up and grant permission?
Listen to the interview with Roger about using the CCS.