One of the reasons I became a writer was for connection. I wanted to connect things—words, stories, and ideas—while also exploring my connection to this world and people. Now as a writer and communications specialist for O’Connor Connective, connection is part of what we strive to do every day. Support of and connection to our community is why we’re here. This week, a client’s generous gesture allowed me to reflect on the importance of fostering meaningful connections.
For the past few months, our team has worked to provide strategic communication services to better position the Invest In Her Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to create a female friendly future. The Invest in Her Foundation surprised our team and offered to make a gift to a nonprofit organization in the amount of $5,000 in O’Connor Connective’s name.
We were honored. In the spirit of connection, we chose to split the gift between two nonprofits that align with the Invest in Her Foundation mission and with our company value to connect the dots. Our selections are Harbor House in Appleton and Golden House in Green Bay—the latter of which is also a valued client of ours.
This gift inspired the following list. Here are a three ways to foster meaningful connections in the New Year.
Show your work. I’ve long believed that when you show your work, you invite others to collaborate with you. So does bestselling author Austin Kleon, whose book of that title, Show Your Work, explains how good self-promotion starts by making your work as influential as it can be, then ensuring those who seek it can find you. At O’Connor Connective, the idea of showing our work to attract clients is how the Invest in Her Foundation and Golden House came to partner with us. You can do this, too. Share the great work you’re doing at your company. Update your social feeds and website with your process. Invest time and resources to help your work be known. (If you need help, we’re here!)
Spend time “in the dark.” I’m writing this blog on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. And darkness can be a beautiful experience. Darkness instantly minimizes distractions. Literally and figuratively, you can sit in the dark; light a candle. You can see what’s before you, but not much further. This practice is one way to find clarity. By minimizing distractions, we can reconnect to purpose. We can reconnect to our personal values. We can create space to marvel at how candlelight glows and wavers, gently.
Thank people. The Invest in Her Foundation grant is an act of gratitude. This past year, with so much to do and worry about, gratitude was easy to forget. Take a moment now to consider who has blessed you. Write a list of the people and organizations that come to mind. Is there a way you can thank them? A simple text, email or note of gratitude is an instant connection. So is a compliment. And always, if there is a way to pay kindness forward, do it.
This year has reminded all of us how much we need one another. Connection is vital. Foster more of it by showing your work, seeking clarity on what’s important and thanking those who bless you along the way.
I know my teammates at O’Connor Connective and I thank the Invest in Her Foundation, Golden House and Harbor House, and you for engaging with us. Your connections allow us to live out our purpose.
From my heart to yours, have a blessed New Year.
Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a writer and communications specialist at O’Connor Connective, a strategic communications firm committed to helping organizations share their story.