There is a part of the widespread beliefs about networking that is puzzling – the importance of the sheer number of social contacts, the extent of personal and professional networks, vs. the sense and experience of being known.
It’s about superficial connection, depth of connection, and the experience of being heard, of what creates the degree of resonance.
Here is the essential question for networking.
How integrated is your own personal experience, that it is sufficiently embodied that you can bring it to bear upon how you listen, how deeply you listen, and most importantly how deeply you can identify and really HEAR and receive the nature of another person and the degree of resonance?
This is the social media issue of our time, the issue of connection and meaningful bonds that last not so much because of the drive to achieve higher number of ”networked” associations, but the depth and quality, the authentic, believable, felt resonance of fewer ones. It is the hole in the ship of the research on social relationships.
It is possible to share with someone who responds back with an immediate text that is so quick, that you know by the speed of the answer that it claims to understand who you are and what you have shared.
It’s realistically more a nodding head and agreement, a little resonance, some meaning, but the true experience is one of being cheated or of paying too much for the return you got, trying not to look like you are expecting too much, or worse, are ungrateful and insincere.
It is like expressing at an “8” of heartedness with meaning and connectedness returned at a “2.” There is enough to connect but not enough to sustain, unless there are more micro moments added cumulatively and regularly. What seems to be enough is social connectedness at a “1” often enough, and that is sufficient.
Superficial connection can be enough, some people are content, and the research on networking is built on that superficiality which seems to do the job of the research. It’s like feelings felt at a “2,” and the projection of the receiver is that it was an “8,” and its wonderful because the belief is that any connection is better than none.
When a person is not understood at the depth of their expression and a text flies back with 20 ideas and observations and 16 questions, there is connection, but there is also what I call connection “shortchange.”
HOW a person listens, WHAT they listen for. HOW they hear. These are the fundamental concerns with heart-t-heart connection.
You have to teach the person what to hear and how to listen for it. It is like being able to hear inflections in language that are the truer signals of the meaning of the word than the use of the word itself.
If you can understand IN ORDER TO RESPOND and look right and with it and bright, significant and competent and capable, even interested, you miss it. You can connect but there is little resonance with the person sharing.
You are not listening in the right place. To hear and receive the person who shares, one has to abandon their own intent to respond, and listen for the feelings of the other, the meanings of the other, their wanting, and not judge their intent. It is something like flow, “getting” the other person is the passion, and doing the listening non-judgmentally absent of that filter.