I was recently travelling on a train from London. The train was full, there were delays and cancellations, I’ve managed to get a sit though. Maybe there was something about the unusual (?) situation with many trains being cancelled, maybe there was that mixed sense of gain and lost when we heard that the train was declassified (but could not be bothered to change the sit after feeling happy to get one in the first place), maybe it was just the right moment and place, but a magic happened and I made a connection with other co-passengers whilst connecting trains.
It was four of us- strangers who happened to sit next to each others- chatting, smiling, advising, asking, answering, sharing, listening.
It felt so good! Even better than checking the Facebook feeds (Sic!). We all talked about how nice this spontaneous conversation made us feel!
In fact, there is something special about making connections between people, and Jan Hills from HeadHeart+Brain actually called social connection a “super power”- check the full article here. She says:
“Our well-being depends on connections with others: this is a primary need in the brain. (In other words Maslow got his hierarchy of human needs wrong: physical needs followed by safety needs, followed by social needs… Social relationships are as essential as food, water and shelter.)”.
Whilst I am not actively encouraging to talking to strangers, this train journey did remind me of how special making connection can be, and how good it makes us feel. Placing this reminder in a HR context, and quoting after the article, these are examples of how the need for social connection plays out in business policy and practice that is worth exploring:
Trust in the workplace
Connecting trains got me also to my destination, and on the way I found a dose of inspiration – more in the video.