Readers of this blog will know that I have long been an enthusiastic supporter of the “connect before content” approach.
Or, in other words, any strategy that invites people to connect with one another before you dive into the content (the purpose they have gathered) has been shown to amplify the results of whatever you’re trying to get done.
That said, have you, like me, used the words connection and belonging interchangeably?
Does Connection = Belonging?
My good friend Chad Littlefield wrote an article about this recently and it caused me to ponder.
Do the time and energy I invest with a group to build their connections also build belonging? Is it the same thing? Chad offered a useful set of definitions, so I’ve come to believe that connection is not the same as belonging. And then, he went one step further to explore what trust was.
Adopting Chad’s words, he described each of these concepts in this way:
Connection: happens when people are seen, heard, and understood for exactly who they are (and for who they are not.)
Belonging: is when people are accepted for who they are (and for who they are not.)
Trust: is when people can express who they are (and who they are not) with an assurance of being included and uplifted in the process.
Everything is created in language, so the words we choose to use (or not) as educators, facilitators and trainers matter, a lot.
I take a lot of pride in the words and language I use when I work with a group. These definitions have pushed me further to deepen my understanding of the difference between these terms.
What Do You Think?
Is this just pedantic or do you share our understanding that connection, belonging and trust are all different?
Is connection the same as belonging?
Share your reflections below and tell us how you use these terms.