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How to Create Human Connection When Working from Home

November 22, 2021
By Melissa Dawn

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Remote work has been a saviour of the pandemic, allowing people to work and businesses to operate, even during strict lockdowns. But it has come with a price: human connection. Without connection, team dynamics, engagement, morale and even mental health have suffered, as people feel increasingly isolated and disconnected from their colleagues, teams and organizations.

So… How do we create the human connection we need to thrive, through the virtual connections we need to survive?

Per the Co-Active Training Institute, “Physical distancing is required. Social distancing is optional. Relationship is central.”

Relationships must come before anything else, as it’s relationships that combat isolation and will help us create a new normal that prioritizes connection as foundational to organizational success. 

This may seem abstract, but relationship building is something that can be learned, strategized and even measured in terms of results.

It starts with breaking it down into 3 areas:

  1. Self
  2. Others
  3. Higher source

Relationship with the Self

Lead yourself first. People will follow your mood and behaviour, which are determined by your relationship with you. 

Get real about what you’re experiencing. What scares you right now? What are your challenges? What are you hopeful about? What do you miss? What’s your vision for the future?

What you don’t deal with will run your life, spilling into other areas and coming out in how you show up for people around you. Stop pushing against difficult feelings. Let them in and they will lose their power, allowing you to lead yourself from a heart of peace.

Then, be intentional in how you use what you’re experiencing.

I believe in an intentional morning ritual because it lets you choose how you’ll show up before anything else has a chance to influence you. Create a ritual - even something you do from your bed - that’s just for you. In that moment, let everything in. The good, the bad, the ugly. All of it is human and worthy of acceptance. Give yourself permission to be “good enough” and recognize that everyone is feeling some level of stress and anxiety right now. Lean into that as your starting point of connection.

Relationship with Others

Everyone is struggling in their own way and that can be lonely, fueling isolation and all the limiting thoughts and feelings that come with it.

People need a safe space to know they’re not alone. It breaks them out of isolation and helps them see the team and organization as something they can align with and take comfort in.

To create safe space, you may need to be the first to get vulnerable. Put your struggles out there. “I’ve been having ups and downs as this drags on, and this week feels tough. I’m really struggling to focus sometimes. How are you doing?”

By leaning into your own challenges and opening the floor for others to drop their armor and get real, you create powerful moments of connection that liberate people. By letting go of the weight of trying to stay professional or thinking they’re alone, they free up a reservoir of energy that fuels them in both work and life.

Once you get people talking, take the next step by creating a shared purpose. People need something they can align around to feel connected to each other and to the organization. Listen when people speak. Guide them to align their strengths and passions with the big picture. Share your vision of the future and how you see others fitting into that vision.

Relationship with a Higher Source

This is about tapping into that part of yourself that knows, intuitively, when something is right (or not) for you. It’s your intuition, your leader within, your inner GPS. It’s about staying grounded in the moment, while holding a vision for the future.

From this higher source (or higher YOU), consider your impact beyond your role. Ask yourself, “What am I creating with people? How can I be of service/support? What impact can I have? How might my impact ripple out?”

I recommend a regular meditation practice to connect within, detach from your Gremlins, and connect with that part of you that knows where to go next. If traditional meditation doesn’t feel right, explore meditative practices such as exercise, walks in nature, arts and crafts, etc. Something that doesn’t distract you from your thoughts, but gives you space to let everything in - without judgement - so that you can embrace the lessons and let go of everything else.

There is so much more to creating human connection when working from home, and taking this journey can open you up to a world of possibilities for yourself, your team and your organization.


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image of Melissa Dawn

About Melissa Dawn 

Melissa is a renowned speaker and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Certified Team Performance Coach (CTPC), and Conscious Business Coach. She holds a BComm, is a contributor to the Huffington Post, Thrive Global and Entrepreneur and is regularly featured on top podcasts, radio and television programs. She is the author of the bestselling book, I Attract What I Am, and was named one of Hubspot’s Best Coaching Services worldwide for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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