Most of my work at the university revolves around communication(s) as I teach Computer Network courses and work as a department head and academic advisor to a large number of students. Working in academia is a blessing for me as it allows me to be in contact with and serve many students on a daily basis.
An example of being so blessed is as follows. In my first year of teaching, there was a student, Nabil, who missed the first couple of lectures of my course. He came to my office, obviously quite worried about how I would react to his absences. When I saw his anxious face, I asked him gently why he had missed the lectures and listened to him patiently. He told me that he was working on a part-time basis to pay for his education fees, and the company sent him abroad between the two semesters. As a result, he had to miss a couple of his lectures. He was a senior student and was due to graduate by the end of that semester—assuming he passed all his courses. The university had a strict rule on the number of allowed absences, and Nabil had reached that limit. After realizing that the work he was doing was actually relevant to the course I was teaching, I allowed him to join the class and offered help with the missed materials. Nabil passed the course and graduated that semester. During the graduation ceremony, he ran to me and thanked me profusely. I felt at that moment very grateful for my teaching career because it allows me to make a difference in people’s lives.
At the end of my second working year, I was asked to chair my department. I accepted the offer without any reservation because I knew deep down that with this new position, I could do more of what I love best: connect, listen and serve.
I chaired my department for four and half years before resigning from that position due to recurrent miscarriages and urgent medical advice to rest. In 2009, I was blessed to give birth to my beautiful twins—one of each gender. Shortly after they were born, I was asked to again chair the department. I could have refused the offer because I was very busy with the twins. On top of that, the critical and unstable situation in my country was causing me a lot of stress. But I did not select the easy option since I just wanted to do again what I love most, serve people.
Heart-Based Leadership and Super-connectivity
Leading with heart energizes leaders as much as it does to the led, mainly because heart-based leaders enjoy what they do and follow an inner call.
It seems to me that a heart-based leader is a super-connector with the following abilities:
- To listen intently to people and empathize with them, and let them feel that they are not alone and they can trust us.
- To connect with everyone, accept them for who they are and acknowledge that we are all different in the way we perceive the world, in our likes and dislikes.
- To synchronize the connections among the diverse members of the community and make sure that they are capable of understanding each other.
- To be the glue in a diverse environment, create a coherent inter-locking network in spite of a multitude of differences and provide a unique interface to the external world.
Characteristics of Super-Connected Teams Members
As a result of this, the members of a super-connected team should be able to relate between their individual roles and the goals of their organization. They should feel the importance of their jobs, become highly engaged at work and feel grateful to be part of that team.
Furthermore, not only will mutual interests bring these employees together but mutual trust which provides them with a feeling of safety and enables them to talk freely with one another, rendering any problem they may face less overwhelming and thus manageable.
All super-connected team members feel equal, empowered and involved in the decision-making process which becomes very adaptive and resilient because of this 100% involvement.
In every instance of our lives we are offered infinite choices in what we think, say or hear. This affects what we feel in the present moment and conditions the quality of our communication with others and hence the quality of our working environment. By extension, it affects the quality of our lives.
Positive thoughts and gratitude provide us with pleasant inner states and have energizing effects on us and on all the people around us.
I’d love to connect and hear your thoughts in the comments section.