VIDEOS & BOOK: Braving the Wilderness: Why Human Connection Will Bring Us Closer Together
Updated: May 1
Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston, has spent the last 16 years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Her “The Power of Vulnerability” talk is one of the top five most-viewed TED talks in the world.
Brown’s latest book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, addresses the crisis of disconnection in society and the importance of a sense of belonging, why human interactions trump social media ones, and how leaders can create more intimacy with their employees.
Check out Marie Forleo's interview with Brown here.
We might assume the polarization of American society would lead to more social interaction, but in reality, while cultural and political sorting is on the rise, so is loneliness. Absence of meaningful social interaction–intimate relationships, friendships, family gatherings, community or work group connections—sap us of the collective ability to plan, communicate, and work together that give us strength as a society.
Our response to the experience of loneliness should be to find connection, but not necessarily by joining a bunch of groups or checking in with dozens of friends—it’s quality of a few relationships that actually matter over quantity. We also need a tremendous amount of courage—most of us make the choice to protect ourselves from conflict, discomfort, and vulnerability by staying quiet or picking sides. To reclaim authenticity and connection, we need to intentionally be with people who are different from us, learn how to listen and be curious, have hard conversations, and look for joy and share pain, all while seeking moments of togetherness.
And how can leaders create more intimacy and connection within their teams? Create cultures where people feel safe enough to show up, speak out, take chances, and innovate.
Learn more about Brown’s research and how to create a more connected work culture:
Fast Company's America’s Crisis Of Disconnection Runs Deeper Than Politics