I’m in the middle of a short series explaining why my new firm is called 3COze (rhymes with “she goes”). It all starts with our mission statement: “we will radically transform the way people communicate, connect, and contribute so they can achieve amazing things together.”

So it seemed apt to have the first three posts over here at 3COze ChangeYourTeam focus on why communicating, connecting, and contributing became the cornerstones of this new organization. I already covered communication here. Today, I’m moving on to connection.

There has never been a time when we have been connected to more people than we are today. A quick look at your LinkedIn or Facebook account reveals hundreds, if not thousands of people you can consider a part of your network. But how many of them do you have a true connection with? Twitter is hardly conducive to effective communication.

“Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring.“ –Sherry Turkle

I am surrounded by people who are soldiering on; carrying the burden of increased accountability, but starting to buckle under the weight of their obligations with too few people to share the load. They don’t dare admit their vulnerability because they don’t trust the people around them not to take advantage of it.

What’s Going On?

There are many, many ways our connections are weakening. Which of these factors degrades the quality of your connection?

Do you struggle to prioritize and get overwhelmed with things to do? Once you’re in the “busy” mode, you sacrifice the casual interactions that foster trust and likely avoid the time- and energy-consuming conversations required to address brewing conflict.

Do you put on a happy or a brave face when things are challenging? You might mask your true feelings to act professionally or to appear as a good team player. Over time, your inauthenticity reduces the quality of the connection you have with your colleagues.

Do you avoid the difficult conversations and stick to safe and superficial interactions for fear of veering down an uncomfortable path? Each time, you forfeit on opportunity to improve your connection with your teammates. They can’t rely on you to say what needs to be said.

Have you moved between teams frequently, never staying with one group of people long enough to develop more than a passing rapport? Maybe you’ve stayed put but the people around you have swapped in and out. Essentially, you work with strangers.

Our connection to one another is fraying because being connected to someone requires so much more than superficial communication. We should be worried, because when our connection deteriorates, so does our trust, confidence, support network, community, resilience, and lots of other things that make life just that much better.

So when we founded 3COze, it was with the understanding that most of us are disconnected. If we can stop you from suffering in silence and help you open yourself to the joys (and even the heartache) of being connected to the people you work with, you’ll move faster, feel more relaxed, and be able to focus on adding your full value.

That’s why the second CO in 3COze is connection.

Further Reading

Counterintuitive advice on building trust

Trying to fit in on a new team

Be proactive in building your trust in others