Turn the Cycle of Polarization into an Upward Spiral of Connection

community leadership Sep 21, 2020

This is the first blog in a three-part series about the transformative power of human connection to build community and unleash collective wisdom in a volatile world. 


It has been more than six months since the world turned upside down under the weight of a worldwide pandemic, economic downturn, and societal unrest.

For many organizations, near-term survival is the only agenda, while others, like Amazon, are thriving as they fill unmet needs. And, in recent years, discord and disinformation became norms, leaving many to wonder, “Who can I believe, and how can I communicate when people disagree, and are polarized?”

This moment is a passage to something new — an opportunity to slow down and intentionally reconnect — with our own humanity, and that of those around us. A time to return to the richness and promise of human connection to make work easier, relying on trust for resilience and sustainment, in the face of disruption.

Bridging the Disconnection Dilemma: Human Connection

You will re-emerge from this moment, but not as you were before, and the fundamental question for all business and community leaders is how.

Do you find yourself asking, “What can I learn, and how can I shape a better future, or simply, how can I manage around this and get back to normal?” The truth is, there is no normal to which we can return. The world is transforming. You can either lead through that transformation or wait until it comes for you – but the road ahead is unpredictable.

Leaders are facing hard truths in this new reality, whether you are struggling financially, scrambling to fill new positions, managing fear, or challenged with how to engage employees, teams, or groups from behind a screen.

Social distancing further complicated human connection. We were already communicating through screens long before the pandemic, so the intense need for connection may seem surprising. But the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, combined with growing divisiveness and polarization has led to a perfect storm of disconnection, where empathy and trust are hard to engage virtually.

In fact, 37% of U.S. workers feel less connected to their teammates than they did before the pandemic — and 31% feel less connected to their managers — according to an ongoing survey of employee sentiment, conducted by Glint.

Fears of illness or economic hardship, reduced connections with others, and working day after day with tools and processes not designed for sustained distancing or remote work are all wearing on us – whether employees, customers, or community partners.

If we’re likely to agree on anything in 2020, it’s that we’re more divided and isolated than ever before. Unaddressed, our inability to communicate and connect authentically to one another has the potential to impact everything from our bottom line to the people we lead. 

It is important to shift in the months ahead to meet the changing needs of others with more empathy and human connection. Most leaders are not trained to facilitate human connection and build community, translating possibility into reality – and real, tangible results. This isn’t a leadership or facilitation skill taught in graduate schools. So, how? By creating trust, with vulnerability.

Human Connection: Built with Trust & Vulnerability

A cornerstone of human connection is feeling heard and being seen. Listening with curiosity, fostering emotional awareness, honoring others, and building trust without arguing, convincing, or letting triggers derail group settings are core SpiralMethod practices building vulnerability and trust in groups.

Despite good intent, challenging conversations in charged times can often veer into heated territory, causing frustration, inaction, resentment, and wasted time and effort – and more disconnection and disengagement. People want to be seen, heard, and understood – but authentic connection requires actively facilitating and holding safe spaces – safe for people to take off their masks of “agreement,” to move into “alignment.” For human connection to flourish, especially in these complex times, you need new leadership tools in your toolbox and practice them successfully.

Facilitating human connection is both art and science, but it’s not difficult when you learn from experts how to “set the table” with the right, heart-centered approach, and practice with peers. Whether you’re a professional facilitator, coach, or consultant; or a leader who’s readying your teams and organization for re-entry and an uncertain future; or a leader who sparks innovation, invention, and creativity, human connection is the currency to achieve results.

It is not more expertise, academic content, or thought leadership on human connection that we need. It is facilitating human connection - simple practices, and mastery of those practices, over time. Facilitating human connection is the “reset” Leadership practice most needed.

Add to your Toolbox with SpiralMethod

SpiralMethod teaches people to master the practice of unlocking human connection with easy, meaningful communication and interactive community practices.

At SpiralMethod, we believe the time is now to get out of this vicious cycle of divisiveness, polarization, and disconnection, and into an upward spiral of connection. With practice and intention, just like yoga for the mind, body, and soul, you can re-engage that muscle memory for human connection, and bridge the disconnection dilemma that gets in the way of work being easy, rapid group decision-making, and having the capacity for innovation and invention.

Our team has built simple, high-impact practices to help you master the art of unlocking human connection, in good and unpredictable times. We teach you how to move towards the heat of authentic conversation without argument or divisiveness.

Because SpiralMethod is an experience, there are no burdensome methodologies, tests, or binders. We make the work easy, so you realize change faster. Guided by the SpiralMethod team, you, and your peers, come as you are and leave as agents of curiosity, transformation, and heart-centered leadership.

 

 

FREE SpiralMethod Experience (SME)

Come together – virtually, of course – with like-minded changemakers in a safe, interactive setting to meet, interact, and experience SpiralMethod. You will leave with a better understanding of each other and the power of using SpiralMethod to spark human connection, share knowledge, and build trust through community.

  • Tuesday, September 29, 12 – 1 pm MDT, let us know you plan to join us here
  • Wednesday, October 7, 12 - 1 pm MDT, let us know you plan to join us here

 


 

SpiralMethod Level 1 Facilitation Certification ($1,950 investment)

As the need for human connection spikes, so, too, will the demand for facilitators, coaches, and leaders skilled in easy, meaningful communication and interactive community practices. You will leave this virtual program grounded in an authentic mindset with tools that, when used in group settings, allow you to clearly navigate the messiness of today with heart and authority.

  • Thursday, October 29, 9 am – 4 pm MDT and Friday, October 30, 8 am – 4 pm MDT, register here

This two-day certification program is valued at well over $10,000 and includes:

  • Live practice sessions and coaching
  • Certification Stamp
  • Access to SM Facilitator Networking for life
  • Three-hour Business Building Session

 


 

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