There are few things more powerful than the strength of human connection. Building powerful teams means encouraging each member of your organization to bring their best, most inspired, and most authentic selves to work every day. It’s only when each team member feels seen, valued, and appreciated for who they are, can we tap into the true strength of an organization.
As the host of National Geographic’s Bridge the Gap, Chris Bashinelli explores and captures authentic moments of human connection by experiencing life in someone else’s shows. He draws on his experiences to show audiences how to “bridge the gap” between self and other, and help them recognize their shared humanity and build authentic relationships as a result.
One of the greatest gifts we can give others as well as ourselves, Chris says, is the gift of being fully seen. He walked us through how to build connection within ourselves and others to build healthier stronger relationships, both at home and work.
How can we connect with others?
One of the most powerful ways to help others truly feel seen is to ask a very simple question — How are you? And truly listen for the answer.
Too often, we ask the question “How are you?” by habit and not actually to hear the answer. We lean into our image of the other person — a story line in our mind that we feel describes them — so, when the other person speaks, we are not actually listening to them. Instead, we are looking at them through the prism of our own preconceived notions. We think, whether consciously or not, that we know what this other person’s experience is, so while we may hear what they are saying, we are not truly listening to their answer. This is the death of a relationship.
What gives birth to authentic relationships? What helps others and ourselves transcend feelings of loneliness and isolation? Asking the question “How are you?” and truly listening for the answer. When we do this, we transcend our image of one another, and move into an experience of shared humanity. When people feel seen, heard, and accepted for who they are and how they are truly feeling then, and only then, will they feel safe and empowered to be their best selves — both at home and in the office.
How can we connect with ourselves?
It is powerful when we accept others for who they are and for how they are feeling. It is equally as powerful when we do so for ourselves. When we deny or cut off parts of ourselves — be it our sadness, our frustration, or our disappointment — we are in a sense rejecting ourselves.
When we do this, it means we are not acknowledging the totality of our being. As a result, we will often feel lonely because there are parts of ourselves crying out for our attention. Only when we accept all the different aspects of ourselves, will we be able to finally transcend this loneliness. This doesn’t mean the negative feelings disappear instantaneously, but in that space of acceptance we may find a hidden meaning or lesson in the difficulty. The space of acceptance allows those feelings ultimately to pass.
By leveraging the strength of our individual life experiences and our shared core values, we can create a work environment that fosters respect for all and empower real innovation. If we all think and act the same, we will get the same result, however, when we connect with one other and accept and listen to each other’s different points of view, that’s when we can truly begin to break down barriers, build true connection, and tap into the power of our teams.
A celebrated speaker, Chris Bashinelli has traveled the world for more than a decade sharing a message of empathy and understanding everywhere from TEDx to Fortune 500 Companies.
Interested in learning more about Chris and what he can bring to your next event as one of Time magazine’s “100 most Influential People on the Planet”? Email us at [email protected].