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Employee Engagement

Ushering in the Connection Season

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I can’t believe it’s November already and the holiday season is just around the corner.  I’m not quite sure where the time has gone and I’m sure you all feel the same way.  Having been traveling quite a bit the last two months, I’m looking forward to being home for Thanksgiving with my husband.

We all think of the holidays as the time of year when we get to connect up with our friends and loved ones. My key question to all of you; why is it just during the holidays when we make it a priority to connect with others? I believe that in the world today we’ve lost the fine art of simply connecting with others, be that in the workplace or at home.

Not connecting with others in the workplace can lead straight into disengagement. It leaves people feeling isolated and marginalized and even invisible.  I used to work for a boss that mostly communicated with me via email. I soon learned to figure out his mood by noticing how many times he used CAPS and exclamation points in one email. That’s not a great way to connect, no matter how expedient it might be.

At home, a lack of connection with a loved one can lead to a damaged relationship. Whether or not it is fixable depends on how deep a disconnect you have.  We can’t compartmentalize our lives. If we are going through something at home that is causing us concern, when we get dressed in the morning that stress gets dressed with us and goes with you to the job. When we are going through something disengaging in the workplace, such as working for a bully boss, we take that home with us.  What then tends to happen is that we find something else to take our attention away from the pain, such as surfing the internet, watching TV or using our phone; anything to delay connecting with another human being.

It’s time for all of us to put down our myriad of technology devices for a short while and get back to basics by simply having a conversation. I’m not saying you can’t have a good conversation by using face time on your I-Pad when traveling or a lengthy cell phone conversation, but it can’t be the only way you connect.  I’m old school, I advocate for the simple face-to-face conversation. You won’t believe how life changing it can be.

As the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaches and we look forward to savoring a fabulous meal with friends and family, I challenge all of us to make sure that we make time to pick out at least one person around the table that we haven’t spent a lot of time with lately to connect and catch up on their lives and have an engaging conversation.  It might just reengage both of you!

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