Four Habits of Connected People

Four Habits of Connected People

We live in a disconnected culture.  People struggle to understand each other.  They don’t seek to understand those who approach a problem or life differently.  They push their preferred agenda.  We feel better when we find others who think like us, so we prefer to be with them.  This results in factions.  Factions result in a fractured society.

We see the results of a disconnected culture in our families, our schools, our workplaces in even in our churches.  Add to this scenario the COVID 19 epidemic which has disconnected us further.  We are now physically separated in addition to being relationally separated.  This additional stress has exacerbated the disconnectedness of our society.

The four habits of connected people can help us overcome our disconnected culture.  When we practice these habits, we break down the barriers between people and bring them together.  They are easy to remember because they each begin with a “C”.  But practicing them consistently will require focus.  Practices when repeated often become habits.  Let us develop habits that lead to the connectivity of people.

First Habit of Connected People:  COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

For people to be connected they must learn to communicate effectively.  This includes both talking and listening.  When people are disconnected, they are not understanding each other.  They often make false assumption about the other person.  Communicating effectively begins with understanding what is most important to yourself and what is most important to other people.  By knowing this information, you can communicate in such a way to express not only what you feel is important and why, but also be careful to respect the other person.  Communication includes conversation, sending an email or text, bringing correction, and even trying to encourage someone.

The Corestrengths Enterprise Plus Platform can help you communicate effectively.  If both you and another person has taken the SDI 2.0 and have connected, you can use the Compare feature to discover best practices for communicating effectively in various situations.  This resource is a treasure trove of information that can assist you in your communication so you can grow in this habit.

Second Habit of Connected People:  COLLABERATE WITH OTHERS          

For people to be connected, they must learn to work together with others.  Those who collaborate with others well instinctually know that they will accomplish more together than they could ever do alone.  Collaboration requires understanding your own strengths and the strengths of others.  Understanding how other people have different strengths that could bolster your own to get better results is key to connected people and building a connected culture.

Our tendency is to value our own strengths over the strengths of others.  This is particularly true when our strengths are in competition (i.e. risk taking vs cautious).  Connected people have a habit of valuing even the competing strength, knowing that together they will make better decisions and get greater results.  Collaboration is about valuing the strengths of others, sometimes more than your own.  Collaborators integrate the perspective other others.

The Corestrengths Enterprise Plus Platform can help you collaborate effectively.  If you are connected to each other, you can build a team in the Team function.  Once you have formed your team, you will be able to produce a Team Portrait of Strengths which will enable you to see the strengths of the whole team.  This portrait is helpful because you will see what strengths you possess that the team values most or least.  In this way you will see what strengths are likely to be devalued or valued by each member of the team.  One suggestion is to ask your team members if they feel their strengths are being valued by the team.


What keeps us disconnected most is our failure to navigate conflict well.  Conflict is defined by a threat to our self-worth.  When this happens, we feel devalued and disrespected.  Our instinct is to become defensive and protect ourselves.  Usually this is at the expense of others.  Relationships are easily broken when we are in conflict.  Sometimes they get broken beyond repair.  We find the relationship so threatening that we move on.

Relational Intelligence teaches us that we go through conflict in three stages where we change motivations and accompanying behaviors.  We don’t all go through stages in the same order so understanding how personally go through conflict and how other people go through conflict is critical to navigating conflict successfully.  At the minimum, we will be more successful if we can recognize what stage we are in and when we change our motivation.  We know that as we go deeper into conflict, the other person is no longer our focus.  Our focus is on the problem or defending ourselves.  This leads to becoming disconnected.

The Corestrengths Enterprise Plus Platform can help you navigate conflict successfully.  In both Compare and Teams, you can see how people you are connected navigate conflict.  You can visually see how you go through conflict compared to others.  You can also learn tips on how you can effectively communicate to help others and you get back to your MVS and solve the problem.  One of the most valuable tips you can see is the conflict triggers for other people.  Learning how to avoid these and to communicate more effectively will certainly help you stay connected.

Fourth Habit of Connected People:  CONSCIOUS OF MOTIVATIONS

Connected people instinctively understand why people do what they do.  They are not focused solely on behavior but are consciously aware of how behaviors are connected to motivations.  Deep connectiveness with people cannot happen at the heart level if one doesn’t understand the person at this motivational level.  This is a deeper knowing and understanding.  Corestrengths gives us the tools to understand people at the Motivational Value System level.

Even with intense training and practice, we often revert to interpreting behavior through our own motivational grid.  This is especially true when we are entering into conflict.  What we have learned is lost and we get disconnected from others.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  We can grow and develop in our consciousness of motivational values.

The Corestrengths Enterprise Plus Platform includes extensive coaching for working with people from all the MVS systems.  By connecting with people on the platform, you can gain insights under high stakes situations, normal conversations, conflict situations, and even writing an email.  Our own MVS has a default way of behaving that is not always helpful in keeping connected to others.  We need coaching and rehearsal of our own preferences, our filters, and how they impact others.  The platform can be that coach to you.  Before long, we expect all these coaching tips to be integrated with Outlook to make it seamless and keep you connected.

Connectedness is close to the heart of God.  Jesus taught us that “they will know we are Christians by our love.”  Jesus also prayed that we “would be one even as he is one.”  Connectedness is how we display the fulness of God’s love to the world.  We “together” are the body of Christ.

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.