July 22

Why Connections Matter

Be it in the classroom, conference room or boardroom, my why has been and always will remain the same: connection. I believe that we learn best when we feel a connection, either to the content or person involved. 

Too often, we introduce rather than connect. We tee up information, offering generic matter-of-fact statements. We issue directives. We announce initiatives. We state objectives. Simply put, we point to dots. 

And when we point, we exclude.

By nature, we’re hardwired for connection. In fact, this need is found across species and is a key principle to the biological concept of imprinting: the strong attraction to that which we associate with belonging.  

When we see ourselves within situations, we quickly become invested and purpose-filled.

I can remember the first time a student asked me “WHY do we need to know this?” like it was yesterday. I was teaching 8th grade English  you can likely imagine the student’s body language and tone of voice. I quickly explained the importance of pathos through his lens, noting his rationale of “necessity” as he campaigned his parents for the *then* iPhone 3. 

Chandler immediately smiled, gave a quick nod, finding relevance. 

When those connections are made, we find ourselves deeply motivated to learn, to create, to transform, to be.

My why was, is, and forever will be to find, build and inspire connections.  

So, how about you — what’s your why? Let’s see how many dots we can connect.

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