The Lost Art of Connection

It is commonplace for managers and team leaders to spend considerable time working through their team’s capability and capacity. However, a critical, costly and often overlooked component that deserves our full attention is connection. 

Psychologists, from Maslow to Baumeister, have stressed that a sense of connection remains one of our fundamental human needs. When we lean into connection, we become open to engagement and both are key elements to thriving and succeeding.

Cultivating and preserving engagement remains a key challenge for leaders especially in disrupted environments. To this end, disengaged employees and associated productivity leaks is costing an estimated $450 to $550 billion annually across the US according to a Gallup poll. Research affirms that in a typical business, up to 68% of the workers can be less than engaged. Even if a few of your team members are affected, following the Gallup formula whereby disengagement can cost your business up to 34% of their salary every year – do the math’s and you’ll see the detrimental financial impact a leak of this size would have on your business.  

In this problematic and transforming era where employees are faced with snap lockdowns, remote working and zoom meetings, looms a daunting sense of displacement. The lack of physical interaction and proximity can also diminish the supportive scaffold of connection and community. It is clear, that we need to create collaborative connected networks to support personal and professional resilience.  

How do we create the connective tissue that supports connection, engagement, underpins productivity and holds our team together through ongoing and overlapping disruptions?

If change is the only constant, then adaptability is the only fit. The post pandemic era requires people who are adaptable, who can fit into multiple cultures, who are always willing to learn, ever ready to play different roles and who can navigate the unpredictable, through offering constructive critique and creative ideas.

Julie Birtle and Vanitha Ryan, were inspired to address this critical need and thus created a collaborative, connected network of emerging leaders in First 100 Emerging Leaders. This progressive program provides an adaptable scaffold and toolkit that underpins capability, capacity and connection during periods of unprecedented disruption.  First 100 Emerging Leaders isn’t merely a professional development course for grooming leaders for the life of a corner office executive; instead, it is a growing community of future fit leaders to cultivate critical thinking, curate their leadership approach to becoming connected leaders and quality global citizens. To join First 100 Emerging Leaders program Contact Us.

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