Let’s Go Brain-to-Brain, Birds

Chickens, I’m continuing to think about how “quaran-time” has us reconsidering our connectedness…collectively, we’re “distanced” from others in a way we’ve never been or imagined we ever would be…and it feels weird…it’s a unviersal ‘awkward-moment’ and we’re all dealing with this raging case of ‘separation anxiety’ in our own ways…

Me? Well, I think I’m doing what most of us do in times of crisis…fall back on tried ‘n’ trues…and for me, “distance” has always been a state of mind.

In other words, when it comes to “connectedness”…physical proximity isn’t a necessity…or even a priority. Physical proximity may actually distort our sense of connectedness…

It seems counterintuitive that people sitting together, in the same room… hearing-seeing-touching-tasting the same things…could leave the room being disconnected. However, not unlike the classic images above, the assumption of connectedness is illusory. Our “quaran-time” is a friendly reminder that sharing a classroom, office, or home with people does not guarantee ‘connection.’

How can it be? How can we be so far apart even when we’re not this far apart?

If you have a significant other, I know you’ve had this experience…you go somewhere together…dinner w/friends (remember those days?), a doctor’s appointment, a movie…and the next day, you talk about it…

but a few minutes into the conversation, you’d swear in court that he/she couldn’t possibly have been in the same place, at the same time…your experiences were so different…so disconnected…you actually start Googling AI-generated people. Are they a ‘thing’ yet??? Is there a Tom-‘bot’ living in my house?

Such are the building blocks of our experience…completely arbitrary…they are ingredients…if we do nothing with them, they remain a cup of flour, a cup of sugar, 2 eggs…only when our brains start to mix and bake…then, only then, do we have cake!

Only thing is…we each have our own recipe book…one that has been cultivated year-over-year with unique influences like perspective, preference, personality. So imagine…when we hear “Let them eat cake!” how motley our dining will be!

In my last post about teamwork, Kirsten Weir differentiated between ‘teamwork’ and ‘taskwork’ by identifying teamwork as …the interrelated thoughts, feelings and behaviors of team members— […] that enable them to work effectively together” which speaks to the true nature of connection …understanding how others think…what recipe they’re following, what cake they’re trying to make, and why.

Throughout ‘coronamunication’ (apparently portmanteaus are another pandemic pastime…gotta’ love English majors!) I’ve recognized a pattern in my communications that goes something like…

Sooooooo, here’s how my brain is working

then asking for reciprocation…

How is your brain working?

In other words…’let’s go brain-to-brain’ and figure out where and why we’ve disconnected.

It is no coincidence a ‘best-practice’ study strategy is called “mind-mapping”…finding a way to verbalize and visualize our understanding is essential to learning and learning is, ultimately, a process of connecting. Mind-mapping can be time consuming, but it’s critical if we’re to find out where our paths diverge…because divergent paths create disconnection in our relationships – personal and professional.

When we go ‘brain-to-brain’ we begin to uncover the real reasons for disconnection…things beyond the standard non-verbals like eye contact, posture, and inflection. While it’s true non-verbals like tone are hard to read in electronic communications…(even face-to-face when we can read the eye-roll, the “salty” stare, the slumped shoulders…these after all, are just superficial expressions of disconnection) unearthing the underlying causes and roots of disconnection will yield far more substantial and effectual results for teams and relationships, in general. But this is hard work, so we often stay on the surface…regardless of proximity.

‘Perspective’ is one such deeply-rooted facet that shapes how we connect with others…and perspective is a kaleidescope of experience, education, values, interest, survival, worldview, personality and on we go…


…as the progression of images above from the picture-puzzle book ZOOM and the classic elephant example below suggest…

perspective shapes everything and it has a very complex relationship with proximity. It’s also heavily influenced by what we’re looking for. As an example, let’s really get into some “Monkey Business,” Chickens…

Keep in mind, an individual’s perspective is never right or wrong…it just is. So we have to give ourselves over to suspending judgment with regard to an individual’s perspective, but at some point, as Steffan Surdek suggests in his Forbes article on understanding perspective, personal perspectives have to adapt, to intersect, to merge, to at least run parallel, if connections are to be made and sustained. Surdek uses the term “perspective-coordination”…another way of saying mind-mapping or ‘going brain-to-brain.’

This is some high-level, Gordan Ramsey, Top Chef style cooking we’re into now, my Plumed Pals…and from my perspective we’ve scratched enough of the surface, done enough mixing (of, ahem, metaphors), to keep us connected for another day…but we’ll go ‘brain-to-brain’ again soon…and don’t hesitate to share your perspective in the comments section…show me how your brain’s workin’…map it our for me, Birds!

Kershaws Bespoke Gifts

Holler Back Ya'll

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