Please close the eyes… It is 9 AM. 15 people are walking into the room in an office in Madrid to attend a workshop. The workshop is about Safety Culture and Leadership, which is one in a sequence for an energy multinational company. What is connection? Is it the person from Argentina who looks me in the eyes when he tells me his name? I have to ask him to repeat his name. Because I am not acquainted with the Spanish language. His name is Jorge. Warm, welcoming, open energy. Or is it the person who is a bit shy, waiting for me to give him a non-verbal signal that I would like to shake his hand and learn his name. He comes up to me clearly relieved that I welcome his presence. Furthermore, he tells me his name is Manuel, slow and with clearly pronounced. For the reason that he saw that I asked Jorge to say his name again.
The first day is an exploration, coloured by various moments in which we all make an effort to understand each other, and make sure we know the other understands.
What is connection?
At diner, most people speak Spanish to each other. Jorge is sitting next to me at the end of the table, cut off from the others by two Dutch people. He says he likes to sit with us, to talk to different people outside of the group he usually interacts with. It is a typical Spanish diner. Multiple starters show up, which are shared, the main course is individual and somehow, with three courses, diner takes all evening until midnight. When leaving the restaurant, multiple people put their hands on my back as a way of connecting and showing their affection.
Again, what is connection?
Is it the Italian winemaker Giancarlo Tommasi who remembers me after 2 years. Even more, having met only for 60 minutes in his wine cellar? Or looking someone in the eyes, meeting for the first time and having a sense of familiarity and unity or oneness? Or both…, and more.
How can I feel this level of connection? Where does it happen? Between me and someone or something? Or within myself? And, if so, is my outer experience of connection a reflection of my inner awareness of my connection to myself, to who I really am?