connected but not connecting
Employee Benefits

Connected, but Not Connecting…

Colin McLain
Colin McLain
Vice President

If you’re a regular reader of the Holmes Murphy blog, then you may recall a recent post from one of my esteemed colleagues (and friend), Mr. Travis Dent. His observations on the “human” side of our business, or lack thereof, inspired me to continue the topic.

Travis implored us to remember that while our work is extremely complex, full of data and numbers, we cannot lose sight of the people (humans) behind those metrics and figures.

I have the privilege of working with an immensely talented group of individuals, who exude exceptional character, integrity, and above all, HEART for what they do. I can assure you, HEART, is at the very center of why we do what we do. Understanding this is who we are at our core…business moves fast, life moves faster, and sometimes we don’t take the time to make that connection. Trust me, it’s not easy to pause from our fast-paced, multi-tasked lives to stop and simply listen — to truly hear one another, genuinely care, and if needed, offer that helping hand.

Just a few weeks ago, one of my colleagues took a call from one of our client’s employees. This was a pretty typical call…the employee simply needed help finding an in-network provider. My colleague provided the information. A short while later, the employee called again. And, again, nothing out of the ordinary. This time the employee needed a different resource. It wasn’t until the third call that my colleague realized something was wrong. She wasn’t just listening, she could “hear” what the person was feeling. The employee admitted they were going through some difficult times and were on the verge of suicide (on top of that, they were still at their workplace). Now, that type of call isn’t typical. Neither was what happened next. My colleague stayed on the phone and listened in a most divine way for hours. In short, my colleague was able to get the employee to a calmer state and found the help they desperately needed. That employee has since reached out to my colleague and let her know they had been seeking counseling, feeling much better, and also, how much they had appreciated that moment of empathy. That simple act of “hearing” made such an impact.

We live in such a “me” world. Whether it’s tweeting, texting, liking, or posting, we are all very connected, but that doesn’t mean we are connecting. A lot of us believe we must show strength and we must show that everything under control. The reality is none of us actually do. There is always some aspect in our lives we are struggling with, and often, it takes tremendous courage and humility to share that with one another. The goal isn’t just to listen, the goal is to hear and respond. If we don’t take the time to really hear one another, we might miss that courageous cry for help.

We must do this. It must be an intentional behavior. Why? Because at some point, someday, it will be us who needs to be heard. It will be our cry for someone to listen, to hear us, and to help us. And unless we take the time to give it, we may never get it when we need it most.

So, my challenge to you is — pause, listen, hear, and help. You never know whose life you might change!

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