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Meaningful Engagement: Emotional Connectivity

    Meaningful engagement is dependent upon both emotional connectivity and relationship. Both of these are dependent upon the other. Emotional connectivity is the gateway to relationship(s).  Without it, a relationship may not unfold.



    What is emotional connectivity?

    An emotional connection occurs when people interact in such a manner that both their individual and subjective feelings come together in such a way to create or form an unseen,  yet strongly felt, bond.

    Ideals that are frequently ignored are that an emotional connection may be:
    1. Powerful
    2. Healthy or unhealthy, and
    3. The gateway that opens individuals up for relationship that may leads to learning, growth and improvement; academically, professionally and personally.
    Healthy emotional connections are built off of a wide variety of feelings and interactions.  These feelings and interactions may include love, joy,  and happiness.  They may also include anger, fear, shame and much more. 

    What - anger, fear, and shame? 

    YES! It is not the feelings of the individuals that create an emotional connection, it is their respective reactions to those feelings.  The responses can be acceptance or disassociation and that response can either create, marginalize, or destroy the potential connection. (Often, as I am building connectivity my "gut" will say one of three things - engage, step back and allow space, or exit.)

    If I am going to create a safe and healthy emotional connection with anyone - and - if I want that reciprocated - then I allow space for all of "who they are" when they are in my presence.  And, I do it in such a way that the concept of "judgement" is dispelled, withheld, or not present.  (This often easier said that done - nonetheless - it is essential in building connectivity.)

    Just as powerful as a healthy connection is one that is unhealthy.  Please keep in mind that the words "emotional connection" are amoral and describe potential connectivity -  NOT - the quality or value of the connectivity, ie. battered spouse syndrome, emotional manipulation etc.

    So what defines unhealthy?

    In my judgement, it is unhealthy when:
    1. The connection is one way - top down,
    2. The connection is based almost exclusively on a singular emotion,
    3. The individuals - one or both or all - within the exchange have either a limited or absent guiding compass toward boundaries, and
    4. The emotion(s) present give rise to a feeling of being unsafe (vulnerable, lonely, sad, shameful etc.)
    So what defines healthy? 

    In my judgment, it is healthy when:
    1. The connection is two way - side to side - or multi dimensional
    2. The connection is based on multiple emotions
    3. The individuals - one of both or all - within the exchange have the presence of and ability to sustain a strong guiding compass toward boundaries, and
    4. The emotions present give rise to a feeling or belief of safety.
    ___________

    As I finalize this post please know that there is more to come on this topic.  A reminder of why it is relative is this: 
    • Emotional connectivity is the gateway to relationship. 
    • Relationship allows opportunity for meaningful engagement. 
    • Meaningful engagement opens the gateway for a person to choose to learn, grow, and improve.

    Lastly - Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman this is one of the best writings on the topic that I have ever read.  Click it to get it!



    As always – if you would like to learn more about this topic or book me to speak or with your organization, operators are standing by!

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