The problems we face as a society, as a community of professionals dedicated to helping people reach their potential, and as human beings who want to extend opportunity to everyone demand that we forge connections that enable us to move beyond the increasing shallowness of our interactions.
At every stage in my career and at every phase in my life, meaningful connections with people are what have pushed me through difficult times. They have made great moments even more so and have made experiences at work and in life far richer.
I’ve been lucky to go to a TON of conferences, meet a TON of amazing people and learn from a TON of speakers and leaders in the field of Human Resources. I’ve been lucky to have opportunities to put some of what I’ve learned into practice at work, serving students and community, and in my volunteer life, helping prepare the next generation of HR professionals.
But the word “luck” doesn’t quite do it for me.
Putting what I’ve learned into practice didn’t just happen because I was in the right place at the right time, it happened because of connection with the people involved. Taking what could have been passive learning opportunities at a conference to the next level didn’t just happen all on its own, it happened because each conference forged deep, human connections with friends and colleagues who helped me grow.
And it is my belief that if we are to rise to the challenges we are facing at work, at home, in our professional community as a whole, we need more, not less, connection, because we can’t do it alone. We need to know where one person’s point of view begins and another’s drops off, and therefore we need more, not less, understanding. We must be able to see the entire picture, to see each other as humans, complete with extraordinary strengths and inevitable weaknesses, so we need deeper, not shallower, relationships.
It’s always been about connection.
Our greatest challenges won’t be solved by luck or by best practices, but by having the courage to create and nurture deep, meaningful connections with people who help us grow.