Dependency is a burdened word. It can make us feel fragile and vulnerable. Indeed, moving forward together makes us happier and more able to face life and work challenges. Moreover, awareness of being symbiotic facilitates engagement and makes our working life simpler and more harmonious.
Now more than ever we need each other and together makes us happier and more able to face life’s difficulties. Receiving and providing support are openings to bolster these bonds, and this exchange is positive to both the givers and the receivers. Consequently, effective interdependence enables us to give purpose to our lives through fostering connections with others.
Conversely, when we feel we are on the fringe of being rejected from being outside the group, this is not only bad for our emotional health but for our physical health too. Why? Because we are social animals, we need emotional contact and to be part of a group both at home and at work. When we are deprived of this contact, the impact is brutal, and the social rejection even in minimal doses and harmful for our health. It takes a study that is a classic of social psychology.
This book belongs on the leader’s bookshelf. Sunita Sehmi has written an insightful, interesting and highly practical book that can help us do things better, together.” — Tal Ben-Shahar, author and lecturer at Harvard University.
Harvard studies show that close relationships, more than money or fame, keep people happy throughout their lives. These ties safeguard people from life’s discontents, help to curb mental and physical decline. Above all, our friendships are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even Genes. These findings proved true across the board among both the Harvard men and the Inner-city participants.
Connections, relationships, friendships both personal and professional was the advent of my research about belonging. The aim of my research study and subsequently my book The Power Of Belonging is to explore and understand how belonging is understood, appreciated and recognised in organisations and in life.
As a British born Asian now living in Switzerland, I am mindful of how my own understanding of belonging derives from a combination of my South-East Asian culture and my British and Swiss influences. My curiosity about belonging was instigated within the perspective of a personal context, being a child of Punjabi immigrants who moved to the UK in 1955 and then moved to Geneva in 1992. Subsequently, my professional work in several global organisations as a Diversity and Inclusion trainer and advisor strengthened my interest that the longing for belonging element exists in all of us, including organisations. Indeed, it was during my Diversity and Inclusion workshops that I witnessed a lack of examination and consideration of how important the role of belonging is in organisations. These were my informal focus groups and consequently contributed to my choice of questions in the interviews. I wanted to hear the stories of what do these people want to tell us. And how does that, in turn, impact organizational culture, collective behaviour and can we transform the findings into practical organizational policies and processes.
During my Diversity and Inclusion workshops, I witnessed a lack of examination and consideration of how important the role of belonging is in organisations.
In my professional and personal life experiences, years of experience confirm that both connection and belonging are the main drivers for everything we do. Consequently, my research showed that not belonging even in minimal doses are detrimental to our health, both physical and emotional.