Guest Post | Real connection happens when...

Real connection happens when…

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” — Stephen Covey

Real connection happens when you excuse fear from the table and invite vulnerability to pull up a chair.

Real connection happens when the impulse of “you shouldn’t say that” is drowned out by the hope that you’ll be accepted.

Real connection happens when you ask questions with the intent to understand instead of judge.

Real connection happens when we not only invite but encourage each other to be as messy as we all feel.

… … …

Cultivate an insatiable curiosity for discovering who people are behind the insulation of manmade facades. These perfected profiles are “protective” layers to keep what we desire most at arms length — real connection.

They’re like paperboys on the street corners of our social mediums shouting “Everyone has their shit together but you! Read all about it!” Don’t let this intimidate you or prevent you from trying to break through the fake.

Offer space for people to reveal (or better yet release) who they are, mess and all; you’ll be amazed at what people share when they realize someone actually gives a damn.

When you love and accept people for who they are, what they believe, what they’ve done, or haven’t done, what they’re going through, what they think, and where they’re from…that’s when a real connection happens.

To love and be loved in those places…ah, now that’s the sweet spot of life.

Learn what makes people come alive, what simple pleasures they enjoy, their everyday struggles, something they’ve always wanted to do, their favorite childhood memories, their deepest regrets, their favorite things to learn about, their biggest fears, who inspires them, where they feel most free, their past pains and tragedies, core beliefs about themselves and life itself, something that brought them joy yesterday, and what they’re thankful for today…

Then do it tomorrow…and the day after that…and the day after that.

We must forever be intentional students of one another.

Never stop seeking to understand.


Paige Southard

I believe we have a contagious effect on the people around us, and I think the more people can feel accepted and encouraged for who they are, the better the workplace and world will be. 

A little about me? I get fired up about creative marketing, caring for people in unexpected ways, psychology of why people do what they do, the fine details, and authentic communication. A great day in my book would consist of surprising friends with random gifts, being outside, and eating good food with great friends.