“We are hard wired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering”.
The development of communication has made it easier and faster to connect, however it is possible that during this process we have made our connections shallow. Our responses may be faster but they (e.g. text messages and Facebook posts) lack the body language and our intended tone. It is like we have lost the art of communication and building strong connections.
We live in a country that has one of the highest rates of suicide in the Western World and the agricultural industry does not escape this. This industry can be a very lonely one. The nature of farming has changed, where once farmers on a road or local community gathered together to share skills, labour and resources to accomplish tasks such as silage/hay making and tailing/docking, people tend to use contractors that can arrive and complete the task at hand in a shorter amount of time. In doing this, are we losing touch with the important process of building connections within our communities.
An important key to our success in business (perhaps in life) is how we communicate and navigate life with the people around us. Building meaningful connections takes time and is no easy feat especially when time is a scarce resource. As a leader, it is important we are intentional in building these connections; it lifts our eyes up off ourselves and opens them to the world that is going on outside the boundary fence. It enables us to see that we are not alone and gives us a support system that we can draw from when life gets challenging.
To build meaningful connections we need to invest the time required to develop relationships that enable honest and transparent conversations. It takes courage to be honest, vulnerable and to talk about what is really going on. When we build these connections, we create a supportive network of people around us which we can draw on when the challenges come.
When was the last time you took the time to invest in building a meaningful connection, or rebuild a connection that has drifted apart? What steps are you taking to maintain your current connections?