This is the final edition of How to Mark the Moment, a series based on Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact. This week we look at the fourth element of how to create a powerful moment, “Moments of Connection.”
If you’ve ever felt disconnected from your work or a group or a friend, you know how uncomfortable it is. Sometimes you feel lost at how to reconnect.
But below is concrete advice from authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This is the fourth element from The Power of Moments:
Create moments of connection.
To Connect with a Group
- Create a synchronized moment in person
We are familiar with many of these: graduations, weddings, meetings. But we don’t have to wait for momentous occasions to create a moment. Just don’t do it with regular remote communication; share something together in person.
The book tells about a special hospital all-staff meeting assembly that was life-changing for the employees.
“The staffers who attended the All-Staff Assembly absorbed some critical messages from the situation: This is important. (Our leaders wouldn’t rent all the buses in a city for something mundane.) This is real. (They can’t back off the things they said when 4,000 of us heard them.) We’re in this together. (I see a sea of faces around me, and we’re all on the same team.) And what we’re doing matters. (We’ve recommitted ourselves to a purpose—caring for those in need—that is bigger than any of us.)”
– Chip Heath, Dan Heath
- Invite shared struggle
“If you want to be part of a group that bonds like cement, take on a really demanding task that’s deeply meaningful. All of you will remember it for the rest of your lives.”
We can likely all relate to this. Maybe it was a church mission trip overseas. Or walking alongside a family through tough times. Or an important school project.
“People will choose to struggle—not avoid it or resist it—if the right conditions are present. The conditions are: The work means something to them; they have some autonomy in carrying it out; and it’s their choice to participate or not.”
- Connect to meaning
Groups need to be reminded of their true purpose. It’s easy to forget it in the day-to-day minutiae.
The book differentiates in particular between passion and purpose. Which would you think is more critical?
While we prefer to have both passion and purpose, studies show that purpose inspires us the most.
“The outcome is clear. Purpose trumps passion. Graduation speakers take note: The best advice is not “Pursue your passion!” It’s “Pursue your purpose!” (Even better, try to combine both.)
Passion is individualistic. It can energize us but also isolate us, because my passion isn’t yours. By contrast, purpose is something people can share. It can knit groups together.”
When purpose seems lacking, it’s important to dig deeper for meaning. Ask yourself a series of “why’s”: why you joined the group in the first place, why it was formed, and why it should continue. Then ask another layer of why after why until you get to the root of your purpose.
To Connect with an Individual
- Be responsive
A critical element in healthy relationships is responsiveness.
“Our relationships are stronger when we perceive that our partners are responsive to us.”
- we feel understood,
- we feel validated,
- and we feel cared for.
And vice versa.
A doctor in the book is quoted as asking her patients not just, “What’s the matter?” but “What matters to you?” The responses can be quite different and intensely meaningful.
It doesn’t have to take years for a relationship to become intimate. It can happen in a short period of time with the right moments.
- Take turns
The book recommends this 36 Questions app (I haven’t looked at it) from Art Aron’s 36 Questions experiment. By taking turns asking and openly responding to a series of questions over the course of an hour, even total strangers can develop a real connection.
“Responsiveness coupled with openness leads to intimacy. It happens via ‘turn-taking.’”
Benefits of Connection
By taking the time to intentionally engage in meaningful moments, almost all relationships can improve.
It doesn’t take special get-aways or skills or money, but just a willingness and effort to take action.
Because we all want to hear this . . .
“This is important. This is real. We’re in this together. And what we’re doing matters.”
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Who do you need to reconnect with this week? Please share in the comments.
The Four (EPIC) Elements of Marking the Moment:
- Intro – How to Mark the Moment (Oct 11)
- E – Moments of Elevation (October 18)
- P – Moments of Pride (October 25)
- I – Moments of Insight (November 1)
- C – Moments of Connection (November 8)
- First Ask – Don’t Sink in the Lake
- Want to Publish a Book? Review of “Independent Publishing for Christian Authors”