Steps to grow your sense of connectedness

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Another year has passed and we still hear about the obstacles that we face, those we create, our fears, doubts, our unexpected successes…

And yes, sometimes, new pieces of work, successful tenders, collaborations, force us to let go of habits that made us comfortable…

Some of you also transition into new positions, new responsibilities.

Sometimes these transitions never really come or come unexpectedly.

And there are days, we find ourselves guilty of thinking we could drop it all, as the context seems to be more and more complex, difficult, and the news nasty.

At Ogunte, we encourage people to learn, practice and measure their efforts through 5 pillars:

  • Increased Leadership and visibility
  • Sense of Connectedness
  • Growth of Confidence
  • Sustainability & viability
  • Sense of learning

Throughout a series of webinars with ImpactWomen, we are working through each of these pillars to co-design the triggers, ask ourselves the challenging questions, that enable us to make progress. Find the steps we followed below:

CONNECTEDNESS

In today’s session, our goal was to experiment growing a sense of connectedness, help participants gain some certainty in one particular domain, encourage them to do a tiny step forward, and commit to it.

Connectedness is not just networking or cold calling.

When you work on your sense of connectedness, you are able to:

  • gain clarity in a specific area,
  • able to let go of disempowering thoughts,
  • make yourself clearer
  • embrace well defined steps,
  • build personal prototypes
  • learn to say no when it is necessary
  • able to share resources and tips to the right people at the right moment, for a common purpose.
  • build your connections and relationships with other system changers.

Explore the following steps and create specific, succinct and bold answers.

1. Who are you in one tweet/sentence?

You can add your twitter handle and 1 sentence (140 characters max):

2. What does connectedness mean to you and how does it show up in your life? Give a couple of specific examples.

3. If you put yourself in 2030 (or a future date), and you turn back to the work you have accomplished these past years (between now and 2030), where and how have you been most suited to create change?

Tell a brief story of your accomplishment; add places, numbers, profiles, to paint a more specific “story”.

4. In an ideal world, - it might or might not be related to that particular vision - if you had 100% more of a sense of connectedness, what would be top 3 actions you feel you should set in motion?

For instance: If you are working on a movement of socially conscious retailers in a particular location, and you would like to develop your business supporting these people… Being connected would mean that you could:

a) organise meetups, working groups

b) understand / research how these retailers think

c) design a prototype service for these people, that they would test.

Now come up with 3 separate actions (not goals!)


PROCESS AND CONTENT

Sometimes, we are pretty clear on the long term end goal or vision, but the steps to take are quite fuzzy. What we found out is that fuzziness comes generally because we mix up content (what) and process (how).

Are your actions related to processes, or are they related to content?

Can your actions be broken down in separate processes and content?

THE BLOCKS

What has been getting in the way recently? (It could be something that you keep NOT DOING.)

For instance: if you feel that you have tendencies to be perfectionist, it might mean that the work doesn’t get finished, or completed or delivered, or shipped. So in this context the issue that gets in the way is: the work doesn’t get shipped or delivered. You are preventing the work to get out to a place where it is out of your control!

THE GRID

Test your behaviour or your objective using the grid:

This questioning process is about stretching your brain to explore all the reasons why you do or don’t complete the tasks; and what happens or not along the way.

You can also use the grid to test a small-size objective (don’t make it too big!) to capture ideas or feeling that would have been otherwise discarded…

Purpose: Doing so helps you connect your thinking with your actions.

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ACCOUNTABILITY

Finally, now that you have articulated an objective, committed to a couple of actions, and tested your readiness to complete them, who would you like to hold you accountable for this?

One trick: it cannot be yourself!

CASE-STUDY

One of our participants is a digital communications consultant who works specifically for ethical entrepreneurs, helping them to amplify their work.

What’s in the way?

She has not yet decided in which direction she wants to develop her business now that she has more time to dedicate to it.

Her unique action forward

She thinks she could expand her connections with ethical entrepreneurs and better understand their digital communications needs, capacities and budgets.

This action can be broken down into 2 steps: process and content.

  • Process: “set up ways to expand her connections with ethical entrepreneurs”
  • Content: “better understand their digital marketing needs, capacities and budgets.”

In the “process” section, our consultant will explore all the way to get in touch and start talking with ethical entrepreneurs.

In the “content” section, she will look into mapping then turning the information collected into an interesting offer.

Her follow up actions could be:

  • prioritizing the information collected
  • designing and prototyping an offer with a sample of her participants
  • refine along the way and launch as beta with more participants
  • finally, attracting a group of paying customers…

Designing ahead with the follow-up actions in mind

When you have a specific objective, start jotting some actions, and connected steps, on a timeline.

Be clear about how each action leads to the following: action 4 leads to action 5 and action 5 leads to action 6, etc…

Play that timeline in reverse, like a film…

If you want xyz type of results in action 4, what needs to have happened in action 3?

For our digital communications consultant, whilst having the conversations about needs, budgets, she should figure out HOW she wants to collect the information and WHAT she will want to do with it.

A specific statement/question will help her design better steps. For instance:

“Assuming I can get valuable budget and needs and objectives of my prospective clients, how can I design the survey/conversation so that I can get people thinking about their purpose, but importantly about co-designing and testing a prototype with me, amplifying their work?”

Doing so will help our consultant SHAPE the conversation in a way that is useful to her, and connected to her objective.

BUT … all of the above is not going to be helpful if she hasn’t first asked herself some questions about the kind of business she wants and how she wants to help her participants!

She will need to test her original vision and her own personal feeling about it, using the grid.

If she happens to have various ideas on how to amplify ethical entrepreneurs, the insights generated during the exercises will help her prioritize, merge or discard some of these ideas. It might be that she will get insights about the type of entrepreneurs she wants to help as well.

If she has some doubts on the nature of that business itself, it will emerge during the grid.

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