Impact Amplified: The Power of Connection
Author: Catherine Saar
Who doesn’t want to make a difference in the world? Although we may all have different ways of contributing, one thing seems to be consistently apparent to me during my many years of coaching, service and consulting: It is by connecting with others that we can make the greatest impact.
Martin Luther King said, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Knowing that makes collaboration and service on teams, small or large, formal or informal, a sweet opportunity for even greater contribution.
I love the feeling of connection. I feel it whenever I am with one or more people and our minds and hearts find a flow where we can create, heal, learn, nurture, and build together. As a human, I crave that feeling! And in a world, where change is one of the only constants we experience, it seems more important than ever to connect with each other in meaningful ways.
I recently joined Integrated Work, and I am already feeling the magnification of connection within our team and with our clients. Our work with Peer Learning Teams, comprised of professionals from organizations who are serving health care centers nationally, is an example of how we can take collective knowledge and the desire to serve, and leverage them in ways that positively impacts millions of lives every year.
And, just to clarify, connection does not mean that we always agree. In fact, it is the beautiful symphony of many perspectives that creates the best outcomes and solutions that meet the needs of many versus the few. Yet it is connection that allows us to disagree respectfully, with open ears and an open heart so that we may continue to experience each other’s humanity, even when issues are hot and the stakes are high.
Amplifying your impact is not something that always happens automatically, however, and we pride ourselves on designing experience that help people get more done together. When groups have an agenda-in-common, shared ways of assessing progress toward goals and are working together synergistically and openly, we find that great things happen. Our role is often that of the “convening entity” but we also sometimes help our clients step into that role more boldly.
My learning is this, that if you want to amplify your impact, work with others to find common goals and listen to each other deeply, with curiosity and empathy. One of my favorite operating principles comes from author Stephen Covey, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Couple that with advice from author Brené Brown to “assume positive intent” and now you have the foundation for some truly amazing collaborations and perhaps, the opportunity to manifest impact that may reach beyond your wildest dreams.