Wired to Be Social: The Importance of Meaningful Connections

Kent L. Bradley M.D., MBA, MPH – Chief Health and Nutrition Officer, Herbalife Nutrition

I moved a lot as a child. By the age of nine, I had lived in six cities. I know what it is like to make a real connection with another person. Entering a new school and meeting people for the first time can be unsettling. This doesn’t change as you grow older. We all want to feel like someone has connected with us.

When I was 16, I moved to another high school. Although I had made several friends, what I really needed was sAs a kid, I traveled about a lot. I had lived in six cities by the time I was nine years old. I understand what it’s like to form a genuine bond with another individual. It might be nerve-wracking to start a new school and meet new people. As you get older, this does not change. We all want to know that someone cares about us. When I was 16, I transferred to a different high school. I had made a few friends, but what I really needed was someone to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Fortunately, I encountered a few grownups who were actually capable of forging the kind of bond that can dramatically alter your trajectory.

Mirror Neurons: Why the Quality of Our Social Relationships Matter

Any human being’s ability to reach their full potential depends on their ability to form meaningful connections. We are hardwired to communicate with one another. Mirror neurons: how our brains build human connection is the subject of a growing corpus of knowledge.

These neurons reflect an action that we observe in another person and make us imitate that action or have the urge to do so. These Doashedoes neurons provide a brain mechanism that explains the old saying: “When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.” In other words, our social environment shapes us deeply. Our well-being depends largely on our relationship with others. It is a scientific fact that social connections have a positive impact on our lives.

The quality – and not just the quantity – of our social relationships matter. Let’s say, you want to become a musician. Wouldn’t you want to take music classes, under a great music coach, and spend quality time with fellow musicians?

The Power of Meaningful Connections

Everyone wants to be heard. However, our own thoughts and the activities around us often distract us from actually listening. But the shock of giving someone your undivided attention could be the key to making a meaningful connection. A term that has been used for the ability to pick up clues that will allow you to quickly develop a relationship and connect with another person is known as social intelligence.

A person can have “book smarts,” but can they read another person? Are they able to understand the story of the person in front of them? Genuine curiosity makes all the difference. Being empathetic and curious, attentive to clues, both verbal and nonverbal, helps establish that meaningful connection. A curious mind will also listen actively and be truly interested in what you have to say.

Psychologists and researchers such as Daniel Goleman talk about attunement, the attention that goes beyond momentary empathy to a full, sustained presence that facilitates rapport. When we are attuned to someone, we offer our total attention and listen fully. We seek to understand the other person rather than just making our own point. This is one of the key qualities of an effective coach.

How a Coach Helps Someone Reach Their Full Potential

A coach is someone who has learned the art and science of establishing a meaningful human connection. And at Herbalife Nutrition, that’s what our independent distributors are passionate about learning more about from our team of experts.

Our distribution partners know the importance of making meaningful connections and empowering others. They are armed with training and skills to help others on their journey to becoming a better version of themselves. People, especially those with difficult goals, sometimes have an inner voice that is often not overly supportive.

This can be countered by the coach’s voice of encouragement and hope. When coaches are better attuned with their clients, they have the tremendous ability to synchronize actions, and therefore support an individual towards more positive outcomes. The good news is that the skill of attunement can be learned while guided by specific techniques.

About Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.

Herbalife Nutrition (NYSE: HLF) is a global company that has been changing people’s lives with great nutrition products and a business opportunity for its independent distributors since 1980. The Company offers high-quality, science-backed products, sold in over 90 countries by entrepreneurial distributors who provide one-on-one coaching and a supportive community that inspires their customers to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle. Through the Company’s global campaign to eradicate hunger, Herbalife Nutrition is also committed to bringing nutrition and education to communities around the world. For more information, please visit IAmHerbalifeNutrition.com.

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