Day: February 2, 2020

SPARK Volume 5 – The Power of Connection

Connection. It’s the energy that ties you to a person, a place, a memory – a relationship to your work, to your team members, and to yourself. It is one of the most vital aspects of our existence.

When we use last month’s principle of Intention as a guide and decision filter, something powerful happens – we are connected to a greater whole. It’s no surprise then that, as we wrap up our focus on Intention, we transition to the principle of Connection.

As leaders, we are the connective tissue and the bridge between people, between ideas, and between possibilities. Understanding and creating a Connection across all of the disciplines in our organizations ensures that each individual piece fits into a greater whole—contributing to a better Experience for our team members, providers, patients, and guests.

Connection, by definition, requires an “other” – another person, another team, another goal we’re trying to reach. When we make the Connection and connect-the-dots, we are bridging the gap of the unknown. We are the glue.

Healing requires Connections—between doctors and patients, between patients and family members, between the many members of our care teams. These are the Connections that define our patients’ memories of their Experience with us—our people and our places. When their loved ones think of our organizations, they remember the way a caregiver took the time to make a connection — holding their loved one’s hands and guided them through their time of need.

Write down the people and things you feel the strongest Connections with. What strengths are you bringing, and what sustenance are they providing you? How do you maintain this Connection over time?

Eyes on Connection

We LOVE this intense video by artist Marina Abramović. As part of a retrospective at the MoMA, Abramović created a live exhibit in which she sat and LOOKED into the eyes of a complete stranger without speaking for one uninterrupted minute. Strangers can form deep Connections with their eyes alone. What she didn’t know was that her former lover and fellow artist, Ulay, whom she hadn’t seen since the 1970s, was waiting to LOOK into her eyes again.

Without uttering a word, we can feel the sparks fly and the Connection crackle between Ulay and Marina, and this type of Connection has actually been scientifically proven. Researchers at Cornell University found that LOOKING into the eyes of another fosters a sense of Connection and “only actual eye contact fully activates those parts of the brain that allow us to more acutely and accurately process another person’s feelings and intentions.”

*When we take a moment to truly see someone, we can understand the power of eye contact in making a Connection. Try it with your team. Pair off, LOOK into your partner's eyes, and see what kind of Connections you can make without words.

The Power of Human Connection

This beautiful and powerful thank-you note and subsequent New York Times article brought us to tears. In October 2016, Peter DeMarco wrote an incredible letter about his wife, Laura Levis, after her passing. He vulnerably shared their Experience at Cambridge Hospital by way of a thank-you note to his wife’s care team. What he shared underlined the importance of how the team treated her family and him, the grieving, frightened, madly-in-love husband and also a Connection that might be overlooked: the way the care team allowed Peter to Connect with Laura.

“There is another moment – actually, a single hour – that I will never forget… when I returned, they [her nurses Donna and Jen] had shifted Laura to the right side of her bed, leaving just enough room for me to crawl in with her one last time. It was our last tender moment as a husband and wife, and it was more natural and pure and comforting than anything I’ve ever felt… I will remember that last hour together for the rest of my life. It was a gift beyond gifts, and I have Donna and Jen to thank for it.”

Think of a time in your life that you made an incredibly powerful Connection. Did someone else help you make that Connection? How could you enable Connections for others in your everyday work?

Grab-and-Go Shopping Arrives

In 2018, Amazon opened its doors to a whole new way to shop showing us what LEADING for Experience is all about. Amazon Go, the first ever no-checkout convenience store uses the Amazon Go app to check in shoppers as they enter the store. It is an example of Connection at its best–connecting to the convenience of what consumers want. You simply walk around, take what you want, and walk out. No one chases after you because AI algorithms track you and everything you pick up and keep. If you put something back, cameras track that too. When you leave, the app simply charges your Amazon account for whatever is in your bag. Amazon Go is truly flipping the industry on end and changing the way they Connect with customers with this cutting-edge, highly orchestrated Experience. We can’t wait to see what’s next.