Connection: A Super Power at Work & Life

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We Are Wired To Connect

As talk about resolutions swirl around us and the New Year kicks off, there is one powerful concept that can serve as a guide throughout 2020 and beyond. One word that will drive and sustain change. One word that will help you to be your best self at work and at home. One word that will help you to inspire and engage those around you. CONNECTION.

We are wired to connect. Our brains (hearts/bodies/spirits) need connection as much as we need safety and basic nourishment to survive and thrive. And since we spend a tremendous time with our workplace “family” it is important to know that connection can literally enhance engagement, productivity, profitability, and talent retention. Here are some things to consider as you move boldly into 2020:

Connection awakens us to ourselves.
We can not connect with, lead, or engage others until we first connect deeply and regularly with ourselves. Connection is a superpower and it begins with slowing down, listening deeply, and learning about ourselves. It is the single most important investment we can make in ourselves.

Find ways to meditate, to harness the power of mindfulness, to work with guides/coaches/therapists/sponsors/trusted friends and advisors who can help you learn more about yourself. Accept, surrender, transform, and heal.

Find ways to consciously bring these attributes into your organization through training, coaching, leadership curriculums.

Connection is contagious.
Leaders who help others awaken and transform manifest the characteristics that transform cultures and workplaces: Connecting Consciously, Listening Deeply, Exhibiting Empathy, Demonstrating Accountability, Navigating Chaos, Walking with Confidence, Celebrating Curiosity. Connection is a superpower and those who channel it adapt to change, rise up with resilience, and inspire those around them. Connect with others who are open to interpersonal interactions that build trust and collaboration, enhance engagement and wisdom.

Find ways to consciously bring these attributes into your organization through training, coaching, leadership curriculums. By doing so workplaces morph into places of purpose where a growth mindset flourishes. Stretch, expand, learn, and grow.

Connection provides the foundation for true change, personally and professionally.
Most resolutions and proclamations of behavioral change fail because they are lacking support from a community of believers. Research shows that by tapping into the power of human connection (e.g., accountability buddies, a like-minded community) people are more likely to achieve their goals. When people are isolated, disconnected, or not encouraged by a united tribe, they can feel lonely and discouraged; this makes it easier to slip back into old ways.

Find ways to connect with others as you implement new strategies, behaviors, attitudes, or ways of doing things. By doing so your innovative efforts, healthy interactions, and creative visions are more likely to gain traction. Reach out, seek input, ask for help.

Connection contributes to positive overall health.
In this day of relentless work demands, increasing addictions and mental health challenges, burnout, and bored-out we benefit by grounding ourselves in a strong foundation of well-being (e.g., exercise, sleep, eating well, trusting and healthy relationships). Research shows that feelings of connection positively affect neurotransmitters and hormones. These biochemicals help us thrive and live longer.

By finding ways to cultivate well-being, leaders role model the benefits of healthy living: perseverance, energy, focus, emotional calm, healthy stress management. Breathe, sleep, move, rest, nourish.

Use connection as your battle cry. Connection is a balm for our souls and fuels us to be our best selves.

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Karen Hardwick brings decades of expertise to her work as a trusted advisor and coach to C-level and senior executives, their teams, and organizations.

Karen is known for sharing her own life-stories with clients in order to role-model transparency, foster connection and empathy, and enhance success. She has created a unique model for deepening connection — The Connected Leader™ — which gets to the core of a company and its people with compassion, intuition, and business savvy. Her upcoming book, The Connected Leader, is filled with her powerful voice and inspires others to lead with emotional wholeness, spiritual strength, and mental well-being in order to become their best selves and help others do the same.

Karen lives in Atlanta with her husband, Greg, and their 17-year-old son, Matthew, where she can be found around the table with friends and family eating nourishing, home-cooked meals and sharing stories. She is the biggest contributor to the family ‘swear jar,’ despite her daily practice of meditation and prayer. And above all, Karen believes that living a life of connection is courageous; a sacred calling that requires all we’ve got.

Karen J. Hardwick, M.Div., MSW

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The Power of Connection

Karen is currently writing a book about how the power of connection can transform leaders into catalysts, groups into teams, and businesses into places where people lean in to courage, clarity, and compassion.

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