The next time you’re in a meeting, take a minute and look around you at the other folks—and consider the possibility that you are all intimately connected to one another.
Whether you know each other well or not, whether you like each other or not—even whether you want to be connected to these people or not.
As soon as any one of you says something, changes posture or makes a facial gesture, you all pick up on these cues and, consciously or not, respond.
Some of these responses might be obvious—your words, posture or gestures, for instance—while some may fly entirely under the radar, such as changes in your breathing, heart rate, body temperature or emotional state, to name just a few.
Since we were babies, we’ve been learning to pick up on these cues from the people in our lives, and they’ve been picking up on ours.
𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞’𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬: Because this visceral, biological connection we share with one another profoundly shapes our every interaction, conversation and meeting. But this connectivity doesn’t mean that we’re aligned, in sync or collaborating effectively. It can just as easily foster polarization and drive wedges between us.
It depends on how we’re managing this connectivity. Fortunately, we can learn to harness our connectedness—to make Full Contact with our colleagues—with simple practices that enable us to be more aware of our impacts on them, while remaining more centered, grounded and open, even in difficult interactions.
How we manage our connectivity depends on how we are managing ourselves.