I raced for the airport parking shuttle, threw my bag on the rack and collapsed in the seat. The hectic schlep is too familiar. The stranger next to me smiled, “How’d it go?” Ugh, what’s this guy want? What ever he’s selling, I don’t need.
I’ve been on that shuttle many times texting, returning calls, trying to remember if there was anything in the fridge to cook for dinner. The last thing on my mind is connecting. But for some reason, I played along.
I opened my heart and shared:
“Actually, quite well. I work in the call center space, and connection and empathy is fundamental. I saw more of that on this trip. I think they’re getting it. I also write a leadership blog and more people are engaging. The momentum is exciting”
His connection energized my thinking. I suddenly felt better about the progress. I took a shot. “Did you make the sale?” He laughed and beamed, “sure did.” And then he went on, “but I’m worried.
I’m in healthcare and the entire landscape is changing. I’ve been in this field forever, but may need to change. I’m not sure how I’ll replicate the income and my kids are still small. It’s all I’ve known.”
I felt sudden compassion for this stranger. This fleeting connection mattered. The 7 1/2 minute conversation energized us both. No cards exchanged. No romantic intentions. No next steps. No asks. Just two tired strangers offering the gift of connection. Next week, I’ll take that shuttle again with connections on my mind.
Creating Powerful Connections
Connections aren’t just for the people we love or those we lead. You can influence small corners of the world through fleeting connections.
- Look up
- Open your heart
- Trust more
Where have you found joy in random connections? To whom can you offer that gift?