Monday, December 1, 2008
This past weekend, I sent a pal of mine off to start a new life on the West Coast. You can see us here at the party.
At the farewell soiree, I met other folks equally sad to see him go. The common thread in the room was this person who has an amazing gift of connecting with people - almost instantly.
Much to my surprise - I was one of the most recent folks "smitten" with Phil and, in contrast to almost everyone else in the room, I'd met him online.
After telling a few people our amazing "connection story" - it hit me just how unique it was.
You see - I met Phil on LinkedIn in June 2007. From shortly thereafter, we began this whirlwind friendship where we really only saw each other a few times in person but OH did we connect. Whether it was the formation of our trademark organization, S.N.B.P. or our marathon chats about everything from politics to our common interest of everything sports, we truly connected and have an extraordinary friendship.
As always, I spent the last few days unpacking my thoughts about Phil, his move, our friendship and this amazing thing... the authentic connection with another human being.
Here are a few things I imagine when I think of authentic connections with other people:
One - There is no "right place" for a good connection, only an open heart and mind.
Two - Authentic connections have no time issues. You know you've connected with someone authentically when the space between your last contact does not diminish the depth of your sharing.
Three - Man or woman - gender really doesn't matter. There was time when I'd say "Oh, I connect more easily with guys" That was so far from the truth - see addendum to point one
Four - Mutual respect makes every topic a relevant one - people who are authentically connected can talk to each other about all topics - regardless of whether they agree or not - the respect for one another fuels the spirited discussion that always ends with "Thanks, I never thought it that way."
Five - Authentic connections are never broken. This is a bold one but one I stand by. Neither time, nor distance or the most common connection breaker - conflicts, can keep people who are authentically connected apart. It is through our conflicts that we grow with one another. This will start a controversy but I believe that folks who have drifted completely out of my life - never to be heard from again were never authentically connected to me, nor I to them. How do I know this is true - FACEBOOK. Man, I have re-kindled connections dating back to high school, my first job - people I met traveling in Europe - there is a person I cherish from every era of my life within my 197 connections. Are all 197 connections authentic? I would say 90% are. There is the 10% of folks who I knew only in passing but I would argue that if I did not feel connected to them - they must have felt connected to me to even ask me to be their FB friend.
So - now I push it to you...
What (in your mind) makes an authentic connection possible with another person?
Posted by M. Denise Wilmer Barreto at 6:21 PM