The Importance of Developing Intentional Connections

Joanne Rusch

March 3, 2018

How can I be connected without intention? Good question!

Accepting the fundamental nature of being human doesn’t come easy to an introvert like me.  Do I have to engage with others?  Can’t I just go my own way and do my own thing? And why would there be introverts if we really were made to be social? How cruel!

Consider the following quote from the Dalai Lama XIV:

“We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”

This I accept! 

Once I got over making it all about me – a favorite pastime of my scared self – I started to look at this from a different perspective.  

I have realized that I am a social being. If I am always connected to other people, and I choose not to be intentional about connecting with them, I lose out.  

How can I be connected without intention? Good question!

I used to have ‘unintentional connections.’ What does an unintentional connection look like? It is oriented around the help I need and indifferent to the other person or people involved.

It is transactional in nature. There is no intent to anything beyond the interaction of the moment.  There may be some exchange involved to get the help I seek, but there is no commitment for continued connections after the transaction is complete. And there is no commitment to reciprocate for help received in the future.  

It is indifferent to long-term consequences for the other person. There is no consideration around the implications to the other person for agreeing to provide the help I am seeking. It may represent the majority of the connections you have formed in your professional life if you haven’t taken time to produce authentic connections

I consider certain connections to be unintentional because they are connections that happen while I am focused on other things – not the person I am connecting with. They just happen with whoever is around me as I go about living my life. I might seek someone out. However, the goal is not to be connected to a person, but to achieve some other objective. For example, I might be hiring an employee to do a job. If this is my story, that is an unintentional connection – I am not focused on the other person, but on the job that needs to be done. 

Enroll in a MacklinConnection Workshop to learn more about the importance of intentional connections!