Many years ago I had an opportunity to take the Strengthfinder assessment, now called CliftonStrengths assessment. One of my top strengths was “connectedness”. The assessment begins its description of a person with this strength saying, “Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected.” When I read this, I felt completely understood. This inner strength is an excellent summary of how I look at the world.
Of course, other people have different strengths - competition, achievement, harmony, woo … There are 34 strengths in the assessment, so we each have our own. Perhaps you share my strength “connectedness” but in all likelihood, you have different strengths. The purpose of this blog post is to share why connectedness is a valuable perspective. Even if it isn’t one of your top strengths, keeping connectedness in mind can help you to treat others well, take things in stride, and put you on a path of positivity and success.
Why connectedness leads to treating others well
People who see the world from a connectedness lens, see human relationships as a network, where one thing leads to another. One kindness leads to another kindness. One friendship leads to another friendship. A person with a connectedness perspective would never want to speak badly of others or be unfair or rude because that action would lead to negativity coming back at them.
This approach has served me well. Most of us learned the Golden Rule in preschool, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” When you see the world as entirely connected, it makes it easy to follow the Golden Rule.
How connectedness leads to taking things in stride
The vantage point of connectedness says that everything is related, one way or another, even if we can’t see or work out what, where, or why things are connected. I know for many people this may be a leap. If that’s a challenge for you, be reminded that there are always things you know exist that are not visible, including love, courage and faith. Connectedness thinking is taking it one step farther.
Good or bad, it is all part of the journey. If you spill your coffee and have to change your clothes before you leave the house, maybe the delay will cause you to miss some traffic. If you please your boss and she speaks highly of you in a meeting, your good work will lead to people hearing her praise you. It is all connected.
The connected path of positivity and success
Connectedness naturally leads to gratitude. When you look at things as being connected, it is easy to see the cycles of energy and to be thankful. Instead of being annoyed at the noisiness of the garbage truck, you can be thankful for the garbage collector for picking up your trash. Seeing opportunities for gratitude constantly is good for one’s attitude and the soul.
Focusing on connectedness is a great way to expand your mind. It is a wonderful way to explore. For example if you are interested in history, perhaps the mysteries of the Egyptian pyramids, you might connect that interest with learning more about other ancient pyramids in Central America or Asia. Connect ideas to expand your experience and your knowledge.
Seeing things are connected is a wonderful way to approach projects and goals. By focusing on the end point, and all the steps that are connected with getting there, you can keep yourself moving forward and progressing to your goal and success.
In conclusion, there are many wonderful strengths out there, and 33 other ones that bring enormous value to both personal and professional relationships. Realize that connectedness has a lot to offer, and see if integrating a little of this perspective helps you personally or professionally.