Strengthening human connection

Wake. Run with the dog. Breakfast. Work. Lunch. Work. Walk. Supper. TV. Read. Sleep…

All. From. Home.

Repeat x 234 days (since first lockdown in the UK).

Some aspects of this have been wonderful.

  • Slowing down and noticing the seasons change each morning.
  • Having time with my family other than rushed evenings as it used to often be.
  • Getting creative and learning new technologies to help reimagine our Conversation Space workshops and programmes, in an entirely online world.

Some aspects have been unbelievably hard.

  • Going through end of life and death of a close relative during lockdown #1.
  • Watching all scheduled work drop out of the calendar for March, April, May… and not know if our business would make it.
  • Sending my children off to university knowing that it was certainly not going to meet the usual expectations.

However, I am lucky. I have people around me at home. I have my health and friends to walk and run with. I have a business partner on Zoom every day. I am not lonely. But so many of us are.

After the death of his wife during the pandemic, Tony Williams took it upon himself to reach out to his community via a sign in his window explaining just how lonely he was. He described it as the torture of ‘unremitting silence, 24 hours a day’. It’s a heart-breaking yet heart-warming story.

Reaching out and telling people how we are feeling can feel even harder at work. Especially so when we are not together in person.

So, rather than sticking a sign in the window (or on our screen) to reach out for connection, how can we use our conversations to do this?

One of the most rewarding things we have been doing in this space is to begin growing a gentle lunchtime revolution. One which sprinkles connection and joy into the working day. Helping organisations provide people with regular windows for connection during the week.

We have created short, interactive, soulful sessions offering bursts of inspiration along with space and time to strengthen human connection through the power of conversation. A glimpse of joy and opportunity to re-engage the human spirit in the middle of the day. Three examples of these different sessions are;

  1. Courage & Curiosity – Being human in conversation
  2. The Language of Connection – Being skilled in conversation
  3. The Power of Not Knowing – Conversations across difference

We may have learnt how to work from home, but it’s pretty clear – we haven’t yet cracked how, in this new remote workplace, to provide a culture and environment where people feel truly connected. And, until we do, loneliness will remain.

Do get in touch, we’d love to have a chat about how we can help you strengthen human connection through the power of conversation.

n.b. The British Red Cross has just published their report ‘Lonely and left behind’ highlighting the current picture of loneliness in the UK, including statistics, case studies and recommendations. It’s well worth a read.

By Emily Cosgrove
12.11.2020

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