Last year, an article in Psychology Today left quite the impression on me (you can read it here). The author, Adam Grant, discussed the power of an introduction and how it really can be one of the best gifts one can give another. It is something so simple but yet can be life changing.
Grant’s argument stuck with me as I was planning out the activities for this week’s professional development for the faculty. For each event, the idea of connecting others was one of my goals.
The biggest of the events was the Community Connection World Cafe on Monday where 14 community leaders (including some of my all-time favorite Hutchinson people) came to campus to meet with HCC faculty to discuss collaborations and working together in the future. Set up basically like speed dating, each community leader had a table, and the faculty moved from one to another after every ten minute session. At first it was odd looking around the Gallery Theatre and seeing my community life and work life in one room, but then the magic started happening.
People were talking and listening to each other as great ideas, connections, and introductions happened. At one point, one of the nursing faculty asked me, “How much longer do we have?” When the answer was time for four more sessions, she smiled, “Oh wonderful! This is great!” before she jumped to another table. That feeling seemed to have resonated with everyone who attended, which even these many days after still makes me smile.
The other events like the Brown Bag Lunch with TED Talks, the discussion over “Falling Up” from Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage that brought all of the book club groups together at one time and place, the sessions done by our fantastic people on campus (distance education, financial aid, and tech services), and the group interaction during the session on games in the classroom for the part-time faculty all led to people meeting others and introductions taking place.
And I now know the best outcome for my first New Year’s Resolution.
Rather than being an island
I am going to work hard to become a bridge.
Sure, it may have been odd at first watching as my different worlds/lives met, but that feeling quickly became one of the past. I now challenge you to give one of most powerful gifts one can by simply connecting people to each other. Who knows what sort of life-altering and world-changing impacts you will make? There is one way to find out though.